Consulting: Culture Transformation:: Leadership
Improving Organizational Flexibility by Developing Change Leadership Capabilities
Change is not what it used to be. The only certainty we have about tomorrow is that it will certainly be different from today. That's one reason the ability to manage change effectively has become so critical for organizations to survive. While the good news is that there are many concepts available to help companies improve their competitive strength, the bad news is that most companies fail as soon as they enter the implementation phase. The question is, why is lasting change so difficult?
Change efforts succeed when all phases are managed successfully: Design, Training, Pilot and Roll-Out. The focus should be as concrete as possible, concentrating on real business problems instead of abstract concepts like culture. Yet it is also critical to involve the entire organization in order to realize the effort's full potential.
IQPM Change Leadership Program addresses these issues, particularly the roll-out problem, assuming that the business has already clarified its strategic objectives and identified the opportunities for change. This first step can be reached using tools like IQPM's Change Management Architecture.
Key elements of the Change Leadership concept are:
- Focus on measurable results that can be sustained and replicated
- Develop internal talent that can manage and lead change
- Provide a toolbox that can be applied to a variety of problems and situations
Early attempts at Quality circles failed not because of a bad concept, overly complicated tools and techniques, or poor ideas, but because people were not held responsible for solving the problems they identified.
Measurable results are absolutely critical for any successful change project, especially in organizations that are already known for never reaching the implementation phase. Without results, it is extremely difficult to obtain buy-in from employees and management. Even more important, these results must be sustained and replicable. Success attracts people, and learning new behaviors is most likely learned from a successful model.
Participants in the Change Leadership Program choose in advance a change project they will lead after finishing the program. The participants' success will depend largely on whether they are able to achieve measurable results that are sustained.
The Change Leadership Program builds on an organization's past experiences, distilling the "living case studies". Identifying those projects that have been extraordinarily successful, and using the experience of project managers to transfer skills to potential change leaders, allows one to utilize the experience as a real learning tool. This way, a company can train its potential change leaders by using real life case studies from its own organization, including particular issues like politics, networks, leadership styles, and corporate culture.
This approach allows an organization to limit the risks of change without reducing the opportunities. It also establishes a mentoring relationship between those who have already led a change project and those who have not. People who have implemented change have learned this lesson the hard way. Because the participants of the program have already picked an improvement project that they will lead, the new skills can be applied immediately.
Putting participants into this new role also enforces the development of new attitudes and behaviors. Experience shows that you can only achieve sustainable change if the learning can be applied to the job. So the participants enter the program with a specific change initiative they will lead and manage. Change leadership projects that have been successful can then be used as case studies in the next round. By evaluating and preparing these projects for "living case studies," you form the basis for the next wave of projects. This mechanism helps people to realize the potential for dramatic change.
The curriculum covers six critical areas:
- Team Building
- Project Management
- Customer Focus
- Process Improvement