We’ve talked to painful detail about things like change models, the various types of change, and so on. But, we’ve only implied what the true change management objectives really are. Recall that in the last piece, we talked, before going into the models, about a down to earth description of what change management is all about.
So, before I talk about the change management objectives, let me recap on that, for anyone who missed out on it. You see, over time, companies have to make changes to all manner of things. Office procedure, software and systems used, industrial processes, company policies, and a number of other things.
When this happens, all the current training that employees have, regarding whatever particular topic is being changed, is no longer valid. Now, this sounds like it’d be a simple case of additional training and … were it not for a human aspect brought on by change versus indoctrination, that’s all it really would be.
But, that’s the thing. Change management addresses the human element of knowledge supplanting, not just knowledge introduction. This brings on the challenge of overcoming resistance people naturally have to being taken out of their comfort zones, on top of training them –out- of one mindset and into another. Along with this, you have to strategically implement all of this in a graceful waltz while also not stalling out business processes locally or across the board at the same time. So while the idea is simple, the application is anything but!
Considering that, you have a set of objectives that also goes above and beyond “teach them new things”. Let’s look at what a few of them are, shall we?
#1 – Diagnosis of Symptom and Cause
This is the first objective that change brings about. Well, actually, this objective brings about change … it could be looked at either way. You have to spot the problem that could be fixed, and identify what is causing this problem at its root.
#2 – Identification of Logical Resolution
Once you know what the problem is, figure out the most logical and practical way to fix it (not patch it, but actually fix it).
#3 – Establishing a Relationship and Sponsorship
Ok, sponsorship can mean a couple things with a project, and in this case, I don’t mean corporate or authoritative sponsorship, but rather support from those involved. You will want people who want to help, to support and to promote your change propositions among their people.
#4 – Implementing Effective Training
Training is a big thing all its own. We have a lot of literature on training and the boundless intricacies that come with this. Well, we won’t try to dig this up here, but suffice it to say you need a training plan and model that are effective with the people you’re working with.
#5 – Permanence
Finally, you’ll want to make the changes implemented (and the new learning) permanent, overwriting the old ways. Rewarding adherence and discouraging relapse is something I also won’t try to breach here. Just know, that’s the final objective.
These are the change management objectives primarily addressed. I didn’t go into the smaller objectives around these, or how to address the objectives. But, we’ll get into those details as well (and we have before). So stick around. We’re not done yet. Oh no, not even close.
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.