The benefits of managing change properly (and risks of not...)

Version 2

    Firstly I’d like to say a big thanks to those of you who took the time to read and comment on my last blog post.

    One thing that I thought I should clarify following a comment from the previous article, is that the word ‘organisation’ will be spelt just like that throughout my posts - the proper way! No additional Z’s needed ;-) Apologies if that bothers any of my American friends - but I hope that those from EMEA and JAPAC will appreciate it!

    In this article I want to focus on the benefits of managing change well, and risks of not. Hopefully this content might be useful for those of you who are looking to kick-start further change initiatives within your organisations and are looking for some arguments to help support your requests for time or resources to devote to increasing adoption.

    By following Google’s structured and proven approach to managing change (see article 1 for a refresher) you will be able to realise the benefits that you are looking to achieve by rolling out Google Apps across your organisation. The same approach can be used to drive adoption post deployment. Every change program needs the same elements including executive level sponsorship, organisational analysis, communications and training in order that the change happen as quickly and with the least disruption and highest levels of employee engagement as possible.

    An organisation can deploy the best technology in the world, but if no one uses that technology you'll never get the full benefits. Change management is the key to helping people adopt the tools and learn new more efficient and collaborative ways of working that will hopefully lead to an increase in innovation and possibly business or cultural transformation.

    Not carefully managing the journey that your employees go on as they transition to new ways of working is similar to putting someone who isn't a good chef (such as myself!) into the kitchen of a Michelin Star restaurant and expecting that just because I've got all the tools and equipment - I’m magically able to produce amazing food (I know for sure that this wouldn't be the case for me!). I’d need a lot of help, support, training, practice, encouragement and coaching - on top of having the right tools, in order to become a good chef. This same analogy holds true for the way employees use new technology at work.

    Below you can see a summary of the benefits of managing change properly vs. the risks associated with not managing change.

    Screenshot 2015-01-07 at 14.32.19.png

    Spending money on change management activities is often considered a cost, however it should be perceived as an investment and an essential tool for achieving the business objectives of the change project. A well designed change management approach will lead to increased employee morale and engagement as well as improvements in communications and collaboration and trust in the leadership. What is the value of this level of employee engagement to your leadership team? What impact would this have on the performance of the organisation?

    Based on my experience working with hundreds of organisations all over the world, the costs associated with project delays, lost productivity and missed business objectives due to a lack of investment in proper change management are higher than the costs of getting it right the first time round.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above topic. Have you experienced any of the benefits listed above following a successful change program? Have you experienced any of the negative impacts of not managing change?

    Keep an eye out for my next article in two weeks time. In the meantime I look forward to your comments and discussion on the above.