Morpheus’ top 10 Mistakes in Change Management.
Starting when it’s just too late
When time is running out the pressure is on to act quickly and to achieve goals that are just unmanageable in the given time frame. This usually leads to the abandonment of normal culture and values in favour of speed- often to the detriment of employees and stakeholders on the ‘shop-floor’. Leaders of Change Management fall into the trap of taking the first available course of action, and fail to research alternatives which may have avoided problems further down the line. Morpheus’ top 10 Mistakes in Change Management.
Having no clearly defined strategy
Setting ambitious Change Management goals is all very well, but setting out a clearly defined process by which they will be achieved is key to the success of any good Change Management initiative.
Never over-Hype a project unless you fully intend to deliver
How many times has an overly-ambitious Change Manager launched a huge Business Change program which eventually faded into the background and was eclipsed by a bigger, better Change initiative? It is vital that every Change project which is introduced is viable and sustainable, otherwise employees and other stakeholders will start to lose faith in Business Change activities.
Poor communication with Employees
Following on from point 3, it is essential that Change Managers feed sufficient information about upcoming Business Change initiatives to all stakeholders who will be affected by Change programs. This will help to reduce speculation and employee dissatisfaction, and will ensure that the environment is right for implementation of Change initiatives.
Argue the case for Change
A good Change Manager will consistently be creating a sense of urgency by arguing the case for Change throughout all stages of a Business Transformation program. This ensures that Change Initiatives are compelling enough to stakeholders to make them actively abandon the relative comforts of business-as-usual.
Lack of Emotional Attachment
Change Managers must be passionate about the Business Change initiatives that they are proposing to implement. They must then instil within stakeholders an emotional attachment to the project by conveying the real, day-to-day benefits of Change on an individual level.
Shying away from Resistance
It is extremely unusual to experience zero resistance from stakeholders as a Change Manager- how you deal with resistance can make or break a Business Change project. Identifying possible causes for resistance to Change during planning stages and drawing up effective responses will ensure a smoother transition through the later stages of a Change Initiative.
Structure and Systems vs. Contextual Change
Change Management and Performance Improvement tools and methodologies; such as AGILE, WATERFALL, PRINCE2, ITIL, Lean and Six Sigma; are vital to the success of any Business Change and Transformation initiative. However all too often Change Managers get too bogged down in the theory and methodology, and fail to see that employees and stakeholders require a more hands-on and contextual approach in order to facilitate Change. Take a look at your stakeholders- how many of them hold Six Sigma Greenbelt qualifications, for example? Not many. Try and shape your Change programme so it is easily accessible for all.
Strategy- Long or Short-term?
A clearly defined strategy, as mentioned in point 2, is essential to the success of Business Change programmes. Long term goals are always good to have, however a good Change Management involves the setting of milestones along the route in the form of short term Business Change goals.
Decide when to pack it in and declare success
A Change and Transformation programme, and the Change Management which accompanies it, is not necessarily over as soon as Change goals set at the beginning of the process have been achieved. The long term effects of a Business Change initiative over a matter of months or years dictates the level of success. Keep a close eye on KPIs long after your Change programme has officially ended. If you take your focus away from the results of your work, your organisation could creep back towards old habits and undo the benefits of your efforts.