Sometimes, driving your people to work harder is not enough for your organisation to withstand the pressures laying siege to it. With uncertain economic conditions, unpredictable fresh competition, and looming threats from the environment or even pandemic-grade diseases, empowering your people to not only ‘think’ but also to ‘step’ out of the box is currently the name of the game.
However, such initiatives typically require sweeping changes throughout your entire organisation … and to think even the slightest change is often met with hard resistance.
Whether you’re about to undergo an M&A, relocate due to a major catastrophe, scale down to a skeletal workforce, or implement a brand-new company-wide strategy, our systematic approach to large-scale complex business change can help you make the transition as seamless as possible.
We understand the importance of the human aspect in change management. That is why we’ll focus on making your people appreciate the benefits of having to learn new skills, perform new tasks, employ modern technologies, and go through new processes in order to tone down the resistance level.
Our entire process spans from top to bottom, wherein we’ll start with your sponsors, down to your managers, and then to other stakeholders in making them appreciative of the needed changes and in order to achieve alignment with your organisation’s goals. Our top to bottom approach is also aimed at casting a positive “shadow of the leader” on people down the line, enabling them with an optimistic view despite the gruelling tasks before them.
We invite you to have a look at the steps we take in implementing large-scale complex business change to win over a strong and lasting commitment to it.
Evaluating the Required Change
Large-scale complex business change initiatives can be implemented expeditiously and economically if you’ve clearly defined the scope of the change as well as the forces that shape your organisation. You’ll want to know which areas yield easily and which are hard to change to determine where and how you’re going to focus more of your efforts on.
To arrive at a sound and systematic plan, we first gather as much information as needed and analyse them. We determine whether your departments have the required capabilities and how we can arrive at a clear organisational alignment. That way, we don’t waste time, effort and resources when the moment comes to carry out the plan.
These are some of the diagnostic procedures we perform in evaluating the required change.
- Change complexity analysis. We’ll assess the contribution of people and task factors to the overall complexity of the change project. This will help us determine how to approach the problem efficiently.
- Causal analysis. By establishing cause and effect relationships, we can identify root or circular causes. This will allow us to pinpoint problem areas and prevent a repetition of past mistakes.
- Structural analysis. Any company is propped up by a number of structures: organisational, process, motivational, social, and physical, among others. Understanding the structures that drive, motivate, hamper, connect, and influence your people’s behaviours can provide insights as to how or where structural change can best be executed.
- Context analysis. We’ll look into market forces as well as political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors enveloping your business. We’ll also analyse your driving objectives, organisational alignment, and organizational capabilities. By analysing the internal and external environment in which your business currently operates, we can formulate a customised strategic and effective plan of action.
Change initiatives won’t prosper without total commitment from all stakeholders. Stakeholders refer to people in your organisation who either have interests in the change project or can be affected by it.
We deal with your stakeholders starting from the top because if we can’t gain full commitment from those already in the best position to spur the diverse entities in your company into active cooperation, striving to secure commitment from other areas will be futile.
That is, if you don’t have the full support of your key and principal sponsors, i.e. the people who have the biggest say and have greatest control over resources in your organisation, you can’t hope to sustain the change endeavour, let alone provide the much needed spark to get it started.
Here’s how we carry out our stakeholder management actions.
- Conduct research to identify all stakeholders: the sponsors, your internal and external partners, the main targets of the change, and all interested parties. That way you can “switch on” implementors of each change action in the proper sequence.
- Not everyone will offer resistance to your change endeavours. We’ll help you identify those stakeholders and sponsors who are willing to offer support, evaluate the level of support they are willing to give, harness all available supports and utilise them extensively to benefit the change.
- Gain a deeper understanding as to why certain stakeholders are willing to lend support. In doing so, we can implement the right strategies that will encourage them to continue supporting you.
- Assemble a leadership team that will champion your change initiatives. We’ll facilitate effective collaboration among its team members, transforming them into a cohesive force designed to carry out plans and motivate everyone else down the line.
- Upon realisation of the change project, we’ll see to it that all stakeholders get a taste of the carrot at the end of the stick. This will encourage them to continue active cooperation in future change initiatives.
Planning for the Change
Anyone who has experienced having their car stuck in the mud knows that stepping on the accelerator will only get the vehicle trapped even deeper. Without the aid of a towing truck, getting the car out will require careful planning since different combinations of pulling, pushing, lifting, rocking to-and-fro, and stepping on the accelerator may be needed.
Of course, some combinations are just better than others. The same principle holds when effecting change.
Our approach to change management typically varies depending upon the information we obtain from the different analyses performed earlier. For instance, since not all organisations are suitable for a collaborative approach, we will employ either collaborative, consultative, directive, or coercive change management strategies wherever applicable.
A well-planned change will result in a smoother, less costly, and less disruptive transition. Here’s how we’ll help you plan your change initiatives.
- When put in a predicament similar to the car-in-the-mud, the basic strategy entails identifying the current resisting forces and predicting what other resisting forces may be encountered along the way. After researching and pointing out your organisation’s resistance forces, we’ll lay out the most appropriate facilitation, education, and negotiation techniques.
- To bring down wastage to the lowest possible levels, we’ll engineer a change delivery plan that involves the most cost-effective sequence of driver, process, technology, organisational, and people alignment.
- To win and maintain a high level of trust, confidence and commitment from all sponsors and stakeholders, we’ll present a clear road map of the change process as well as landmarks that will prove how far we will have gone. These landmarks will then be brought to each sponsor’s and stakeholder’s attention each time they are arrived at in order to build up assurance and continued commitment.
- We’ll design measurement tools and schedule reporting deadlines so that you’ll know what to look forward to and when to expect them.
Managing the Change
Your company will hold a better chance of maintaining a sizeable lead over the rest of the pack if you constantly establish a rally point and instil in your stakeholders the drive to rally to that point from the get-go. To make this happen, your company must undertake the unfreezing, transition, and refreezing phases of change skilfully in order to bring all stakeholders into the right mindset.
Our specialists’ systematic and efficient methods for each of these phases are designed to simplify the management of each phase as well as provide a seamless shift from one phase to the next. This is what we’ll do:
- Set up a change project management office to ensure that everything associated with the change initiative is given the needed attention and resources even while all the other usual processes in your organisation run concurrently.
- To unfreeze your people and get them started on the road of change, we’ll employ unfreezing techniques wherever they are most appropriate. We’ll resort to different kinds of methods ranging from presenting persuasive evidence justifying the need for change to showing a motivational vision for inspiring your people to embark on the change process.
- Since it is during the transition phase when your people can find themselves groping in the dark, we’ll offer executive coaches for your senior managers; facilitators to provide guidance during team meetings and other change activities; coaches to educate and inspire them to meet the change with the right attitude; trainers to teach new systems, procedures, and technologies; as well as employ a variety of other techniques in order to make the transition phase as seamless as possible.
- Although your people should always be ready to undertake the next major change after a previous one, there should be points in between where they can taste the spirit of success, establish a temporary base to rejuvenate, and immediately gain a deeper understanding of the nearby terrain so as to envision the next rally point. We’ll see to it that this vital phase of change is carried out completely.