Friends and Foes of Organizational Change

October 16, 2014 Ashley Pretnik

You get it. You see the need for a change like Enterprise Work Management. You see your fellow coworkers drowning in ad hoc requests, post it notes, endless meetings, late nights, and working weekends. You see the vision for working smarter and are determined to get your organization on the train. But how do you drive this big organizational change? John Kotter, renowned author and change management guru, reported in his book, Leading Change, that 70% of change initiatives in organizations and businesses fail. Womp Womp. Well, THAT'S not encouraging.

With rapidly changing markets and customers who sway in the wind, initiatives like Enterprise Work Management are critical to getting the most out of your employees, executing quickly and efficiently, and overall, staying ahead of the competition.

Here are our foes and friends in fighting the battle of organizational change:

Friends:

hands

1 - Executive Sponsor

The initiative must be promoted from the top down and an executive sponsor can be your biggest ally in this fight. If you're an executive reading this, congratulations! You can now proceed to the next section. If not, seek out an executive sponsor that can help promote the vision. Look for someone who has influence within the company and sell them on the idea. Give them the big picture of how this will revolutionize the way you work

2 - Mavens

Beyond an executive sponsor, find mavens from different functional areas of the organization that will be drastically helped by this initiative. They will help communicate and spread the hype around the change.

3 -The Carrot and the Stick

Both of these can be foes if used incorrectly. When balanced, this can be a great way to increase adoption with Enterprise Work Management. You don't want too much stick where it's a "do this or ELSE." You may get high participation rates, but you'll be battling a resentful workforce for the foreseeable future. Find out what works for your company and try to strike a balance.

Foes:

fork-in-the-road

1 - The Dreaded "What's in it for me?"

This question will be muttered under every employee's breath throughout the process. So our advice is to engage employees early and address the "what's in it for me" question before it even comes up. Employees are more likely to accept change when they are prepared and actively engaged in the initiative. When it comes to Enterprise Work Management, message the fact that it's about working smarter; getting out of endless meetings and not knowing what's on your plate.

2 - Ta-da Moments

Think about the Spaghetti Marshmallow Tower Challenge where most people build this incredible spaghetti structure, and with five seconds left on the clock, they place the marshmallow on top and hope it stands only to see it collapse immediately. The same goes for change and employees. If you build this incredible system around the change you want to see and then, at the very last minute, thrust it onto your employees, it will crumble. Instead, constantly iterate around your employees. The players in this change should not be an afterthought.

3 - When the Going Gets Tough

Persistence and tenacity are necessary to drive true organizational change that sticks. It'll be hard and you'll run into many roadblocks. Just remember the end goal and strive for progress over perfection.

Driving organizational change like EWM is tough, but oh so rewarding. Keep fighting the good fight, young Padawan. You'll have your organization working smarter in no time.

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