The truth is, there’s not much you actually can do about the value-gap, by way of eliminating or shortening it. That is, beyond the good common sense that we’ve been hammering home on this and other blogs about proper training, planning and change management.
The only thing that you can really do about the value-gap beyond that is to maybe consider an alternative new training system called onboarding. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
What Is It:
So, if it’s not a discount outlet where the Gap sells last year’s fashions, then what is it?
In horse sense speak, this gap is the period between installation of a new technology or idea (or anything change-oriented), and the period in which this actually shows the projected gain which justified the change being implemented. This gap is important for a number of reasons.
The biggest thing is that since it’s an unavoidable phenomenon, it needs to be illustrated very clearly to the stakeholders that this is the case. Because they will otherwise expect instant results, and throw epic fits as a result.
Why It Happens:
It takes some time for actual ROI when it comes to changes. Even after solid training, the novelty of whatever it is will still be there for a while, meaning people will be consciously going through the motions, rather than reflexively as they did during status quo.
This deliberation means drastic drops in efficiency and morale, even if it’s temporary and known by all to be so. During this time, the organizational system will slow down, be somewhat unreliable and somewhat less motivated and confident as it once was.
Achieving this over stalling it out is considered a win, and I have to say I agree with that conclusion to be frank.
Traditionally, a good change strategy shortens this by having people motivated early on to adopt changes. New methods for combatting freezing issues, and streamlining training and building higher-paced agendas is mostly all you can really do to see that this gap is as short as possible.
Aside from onboard systems, there’s not much else you can do about this, sorry to say. Now, how this manages to potentially shorten it is through the hands on training (learn as you go) that these systems make it easier.
Guiding users step by step through use of a concept, and through this, reinforcing the instinct and confidence from the get go is a very clever way to make it less of a problem. But, even then, this problem will still exist, and there’s never going to be much of anything that can be done for this.
It’s like expecting gravity to one day not be an issue.
So, we’ll never significantly reduce the value-gap. The only thing we can really do is find ways to respond to this gap, and make up for it through shifted resources and temporary increase strategies that manage to patch it. That will have some serious points of diminishing return as well, but it’s something. This is just one of those things we have to throw our hands up and acknowledge isn’t a problem you can just solve by being clever.
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.