Change impacts every facet of organizational life. Change is constant and unavoidable, and organizational survival is dependent on the ability to adapt to and embrace change.
The top three change challenges we’ve observed that impede the ability to adapt and embrace change are change saturation, lack of clarity and insufficient commitment. Over the past weeks we’ve written about the first two of these challenges in more detail. Here’s a review of each challenge.
- Change Saturation –people have a limited capacity for change. Through life situations, intentional business changes or change from unexpected circumstances, change gets piled on until capacity is exceeded. Organizations unwittingly start more projects than their people have capacity to successfully complete. Although leaders assess financial costs (financial due diligence) and ensure that the technology supports the projects (technical due diligence), they often overlook the impact on their people (human due diligence.)
- Lack of Clarity – there are two dimensions to clarity. The first dimension is clarity about what success means. The second dimension is the degree of alignment. Lack of alignment or a clearly understood vision for success impairs focus. The more focused the change is the more effectively it can be put in place and the more fully the benefits are realized.
- Insufficient Commitment – Change requires a strong and unwavering commitment from the leader, and the team that supports the change effort, to achieve the expected results. Commitment means more that writing a check to pay for the change. Commitment differentiates a true leader from a person in the position of leadership. Check out the Change Leader Toolkit, a resource we created to support a leader’s commitment to multiple changes.
The first step to addressing any challenge is recognizing that you have a challenge. What’s going on in your organization? Do any of these challenges exist? Can you afford to continue at the current pace of change and not fully realize the intended benefits?
If you are like many CEO’s that we are working with, you have an appetite for change that far exceeds your team. You may see symptoms such as burnout, resistance to change, less than successful projects, wasted resources, and so on. It’s critical to look beyond the symptom for a solution that addresses your unique challenge.