Businesses do not change; people change – therefore businesses change in units of 1. Many change initiatives (>80%) fail to deliver the new process, system or objective and few are able to sustain the changes for more than a year. This is equally true for the small incremental changes to the major transformation changes such as mergers and acquisitions.
At ISPM we believe that you do not manage change – it has to be led and businesses need to manage the response to change. The speed of change is increasing mainly due to the pace of technology change and the expectations of customers. The speed will undoubtedly continue to increase in the future and businesses that do not have a structured change/transformation process in place will not keep pace.
To build a transformation process first a business must set out a strategy that can be easily communicated to the whole workforce and to stakeholders. This strategy should show both the past (and why any strategy failed) and the future state. This compelling vision is what will persuade people to move to the new state. Creating the new vision or strategy should involve others from outside the business leadership – people value that which they create!
Business leaders must recognise there will be resistance to change; it is normal! Leaders must encourage overt resistance and engage in conversation and act as true leaders. This will reduce the covert resistors gaining support from others. Leaders must move to the new state and be exemplars of the new behaviours needed; this will show others it is a good place to be
Therefore a business led people change programme is required to be well structured and managed by people who understand the impact of the change on those people who need to be part of it or are impacted by the change.
At ISPM we have been involved in a number of changes from small moves of a function or workshop through to major changes through acquisitions. Having been scared of failing and scarred from other change projects we have developed a set of processes which support the change and help to answer the resistors questions – why should I change?