What has existed for over 50 years and is the topic of over 83,000 books on Amazon? Yep, that’s right; Change management. Yet despite five decades of practice and so much available theory, many organisations struggle to ‘get change right’.
We all live busy and often unpredictable lives, and we deal with change at home and work all the time. So why is it that the majority of organisational change and transformation initiatives fail?
The clue is in the name.
Change management focuses on implementing change within a business, rather than making change happen. All too often, it’s:
- Process over people
According to Gallup’s research more than 70% of change initiatives fail because of employee resistance and lack of managerial support. That’s because of a natural tendency to focus on the process, not the people. The result? Lots of lovely spreadsheets but yet another failed initiative.
Decisions are made at the top – often behind closed doors – and are pushed down through the organisation. Such a one-way process doesn’t give much room for context or explanation. Rubbish.
- Done to people
Change management usually involves implementing a fait accompli, leaving little room for employees to have a voice or be involved in the co-creation of the change itself.
Traditional top-down approaches are tired, they shut people out and turn them off. We need to move away from command and control, ditch the process and focus on people.
How to make change happen and motivate people
When companies get it right, they make change rather than manage change by focusing less on the process and more on the people. Be a change-maker by:
- Involving people
Identify opportunities, as soon and as often as you can, to involve employees. Help them shape the solutions, design the process and share ideas and feedback.
- Creating change at every level
Make change up, down and across the organisation through networks of influencers, enablers and champions.
- Capturing hearts and minds
A compelling narrative and inspiring vision for change will bring people with you from the get-go. Back this up with a great comms plan – include two-way channels to open up regular conversation so employees really are part of the process.
At Home we see change take many guises; from culture change, digital transformation, and launching new strategies to embedding new systems and processes. All of these things have something in common – they need people to make them happen. Keeping employees front and centre stage of your transformation programme will make sure they’re motivated to make change with you.