Change has never been this fast, and yet, it will never be this slow again, are the well-known words of Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada. Some of the drivers of change are demographic shifts, shifts in global power structures and disruptive technological innovations. In addition to changes on global scale, there are changes in business models, paradigm shifts in how we work and lead, organizational changes from anything of a strategy change to restructuring and process improvements. Consequently, there are plenty of opportunities to become a guru in doing change but notoriously 60-70% of change initiatives fail or fall short of the desired impacts. Thus, it is time to rethink change.
Are You Managing or Leading the Change?
When we embark on a change initiative, we might use Kotter’s 8-step change management model, Lewin’s model, McKinsey’s 7-s model, ADKAR or something similar. Whether the model used is top-down or bottom-up in approach it is most likely focusing on steps following each other in a systematic order. By doing it this way, we feel that we are in control, we are actually managing the change well. This might be quite sufficient if the change in question is incremental or developmental in nature and improves what you are currently doing rather than creating something new .
However, most of the changes taking place today are either transitional or transformational. Transitional changes aim for something new, e.g. new products and services, IT implementations or reorganizations, and replace what used to be. The outcome is known in advance and the changes in nature require new skills but not largely behavioral changes.
Transformational changes are more profound. The future state is not known in detail when you begin and can be found only by trial and error. In addition, transformational change requires behavioural and mindset changes of people. Thus, you cannot manage the change in the traditional, linear manner.
It seems that most of the changes today fall into the last two categories but our way of dealing with it comes from the first category of incremental changes. It is time to forget managing the change and start leading one by focusing on the vision, people, teams and culture.
Lead Your Culture, Lead Your Change
Whatever it is that your organization wants to achieve with your next transformation, it helps to know what are the collective beliefs and assumptions held. Some of them are explicit and widely known, some are tacit and well hidden. Some of beliefs and assumpitons will make it easier to accomplish the desired future state and some of them will make it harder. The good news is that professionals like Bravemotion are able to analyze your culture, support the mindset change and even lend an extra hand or two in driving the change. Let us help you to become the guru of your next change.