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 impeding the ability to adapt and embrace change are change saturation, lack of clarity and negligible commitment. Over the next three weeks we’ll review each of these challenges in more detail. In the meantime, here is a broad overview of each challenge.
- Change Saturation –people have a limited capacity for change. Through life situations, intentional business change or unexpected circumstances change gets piled on until capacity is exceeded. Organizations unwittingly start more projects that their people have capacity to successfully complete. Although leaders assess financial costs and ensure that the technology supports the projects they often overlook the impact on their people.
- 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 is about clarity of focus. The more focused the change is the more effectively it can be put in place and benefits are realized.
- Negligible 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.
The first step to addressing any challenge is recognizing that you have a challenge. You may recognize 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 the solution that addresses your unique challenge.
When you are faced with change saturation, we recommend measuring the change impact of everything and utilizing a change portfolio tool to track potential change saturation. We’ve developed a conversation template to create complete clarity when you are unclear about the definition of success or degree of alignment. When it comes to commitment we believe that there are times positional leaders need coached to step into their role as a true leader and commit to the change.
In the coming weeks we are going to explore each challenge and potential ways to remove the challenges and move forward to successfully achieving change results.