It’s Time to Democratize Change Management
by Arnaud Henneville, Mar 5 2015
There was a time – not so long ago – when the need for Change in our organizations only came every now and then. The truth is that one could see it (the Change) coming, one could adapt to it, one had the time to tweak one’s model to remain competitive.
But that time is over and that is why at internalDesk, we have embarked on a mission to democratize Change Management. Let us now go through the whys and the hows.
Back then when things were still predictable (and, to some extent, easier), the process of ‘managing change’ typically came from ‘the experts’. Of course there are many reasons why we heavily relied on the ‘experts,’ but here I’ll name the two most obvious ones. First, the expert knows better. Whilst this might have been true back then when knowledge was scarce and in the hands of the few, today’s reality is different. The second reason has to do with our dislike for delivering bad news in times of crisis. So to avoid tarnishing our own image, we tend to call-in the experts to play bad-cop. Nowadays, to completely outsource the job to the experts is suicidal.
As dealing with change becomes a regular activity, leading it becomes a skill to hone, an internal capacity to master.
Back then, as we just saw, the need for change was cyclical. Today, as we are now witnessing, change is constant. This has tremendous implications for the organization. This means that from now on change is something one must be extremely comfortable with – both as an employee and as a leader. And as dealing with change becomes a regular activity, leading it becomes a skill to hone, an internal capacity to master. Clearly, change implementation, strategy execution, or whatever sophisticated name typically associated with the process, can no longer be outsourced to the expert only; it must be woven into one’s DNA; it must be part of “the way we do things here.” In other words, leading change is now a core competency and like all core competencies it ought to stay in-house.
What’s more, our insatiable search for unlocking business value, and the forever requirement for leaner, flatter and more responsive organizations means that the ability of organizations to change fast is now a competitive advantage. Add to that fun as a key component to engaging the modern workforce and our tech-inclination, and one easily reaches the conclusion that today’s ways of delivering change (by means of top-down orders, commending emails, workshops, the experts, PowerPoint, the CEO-on-Tour, etc.) are simply suboptimal. Clearly, the processes needed to support change must happen faster, they must be cost-efficient, bottom-up, transversal, mobile, easy to launch/to deploy, employee-friendly, etc. In other words, these processes must go ‘online’.
Change implementation…can no longer be outsourced to the expert only; it must be woven into one’s DNA; it must be part of “the way we do things here.”
It’s easy to see this happening at one’s own level, in one’s company. But take a step back and consider the following; since change is a prerequisite to survival, the topic should no longer be reserved to the elite. Indeed, to succeed should not be about whether you can afford the premium consultancies. No! To survive must be an option for every organization out there, small and large, recognized or not.
At internalDesk, we have made it possible for everyone to implement one’s own internal business initiative, to engage one’s workforce across silos, to make real business results happen faster – wherever you sit on the planet and whenever the time is right. It’s the classic Christensen’s disruptive innovation; we are giving to the masses what was until now the territory of the elite. The disruption has already started and for proof, even the big corporations like GE Healthcare are already using our change-platform.
To win tomorrow, you must disrupt your own internal processes today because if you don’t you’ll be displaced by those who do.
This article was first published by Switch and Shift
**We are launching a conversation on this topic of change on twitter at #nowanyorganisationcanchange. We will cater to all questions in real-time from Monday to Friday, 8pm to 9pm CET.