Business Change Process – Best Practices

Ok, this is another attack of the buzzwords case. The business change process is really just organizational change with the mindset of the type of organization being a business. Well, considering that most organizations undergoing engineered and controlled change, this really isn’t much of a useful distinction in all truth.

Well, have I really described the business change process, or any change process change, as a view of just what the general change process looks like? I sort of think I have, but my heart is telling me I kind of haven’t. That’s an oversight on my part.

Why it Matters:

Businesses face change all the time as new rules and regulations are put into place in many facets of business. New regulations are put into place for conduct and process standards. New technology comes out every second, and businesses have to be up to date on technology.

Businesses must also adapt with the changing times, to continue to be viable to new generations of customers. They must refine their products or services, they must adapt their practices and processes. It’s an unending series of changes like a flowing river.

Spotting Need:

First, a need for change is spotted. It could be anything, we won’t get into specifics. It is identified by a negative something which would be best served to be abated.

Once this problem is spotted, the cause is then diagnosed, and a strategy to implement changes in whatever it may be, so those problems stay gone and new ones are prevented, is formulated.

Studying the Environment:

You only know what to change and in what way so far. Before planning a model and strategy, as well as other things, you study the business. You learn the corporate culture, you learn the people you will be working with, and you get to know the kind of people you’ll deal with.

This psychological grasp of them will help.

Case for Change:

Change costs money, slows down business and annoys the employees. So, you must build your case, and show how you can make it viable with the group you’ve studied, and you acquire funding and sponsors to get it done.

After this, you create the case for change with those involved as well. You combat their resistance by highlighting the negative thing. Once they know it is there, they will want it to go away.

You can demonstrate to them that tolerating this set of changes will allow them to be rid of it, and enjoy a less irritating work environment as a result.

Application:

Now, over time, depending on the model you chose, you apply change through training, reinforcement and discouraging using old ways that were to be replaced.

Enforcement:

You make the new rules the rules, and no longer the new rules. This is after the changes are somewhat reflex to employees. If you make them the rules before they’re used to them, they will forever be the new rules, and never really be adopted fully.

Conclusion:

This is a gross oversimplification of the business change process, as we didn’t talk much about models, reports and other “fun” stuff. But the point here was just to get a sense of how change flows, and I think we’ve accomplished that.
 

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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