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Why Change Management Fails
How Are You Defining Success?
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In Your Shoes
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Fall 2016    
Will your change succeed or fail?  What steps can you take to guarantee successful change?  Our newsletter this month focuses on why change management fails and the steps to take to make sure it succeeds.

Enjoy and let us know what you think! 
The Change Guides Team
Why Change Management Fails
When organizations go about changing, the hardest work is almost always related to people.  Getting people ready, willing and able to work differently is easier said than done.  Defining a vision is important.  But translating that vision into real change is an entirely different challenge that is where the rubber really meets the road. 
Too often, we see well-meaning change management programs fail.  A successful change management program ensures that a few critical things necessary to change an organization are in place.   
First and foremost, successful change management ensures that there is active and visible sponsorship.  That means leaders are engaged in the change in a way that people can actually see.  Among other things, leaders need to be present (literally and figuratively) at key meetings, say the right things at the right times, prioritize meetings with project team members, ask informed questions about the change and make efforts to be available for informal conversations.  

How Are You Defining Success?
How are you defining success? Is it getting new technology launched or is it about how much it is being leveraged? Is anyone sticking around to see how employees' mindset and behavior changed or are all off to the next project? Is leadership tracking how much changed compared to the business case or have they already shifted their focus? Success shouldn't be defined by "implementation" but by "adoption."
To help ensure success is focused on adoption, use something like our Change Integration Checklist tool after go live. Organizational change is a process, not an event. Just because go live is a "date" doesn't mean the change happens overnight. No matter how well planned, implementations experience setbacks and unexpected challenges. Resistance from stakeholders is still a real possibility.
In order to assess what actions are needed to reinforce new behaviors and sustain the change, lead a discussion with your team and impacted management about the people, transition, and adoption. Below are a few items taken from our Change Integration Checklist. Like all tools, you'll want to customize your approach and add a few more questions to the list.

Check Out the Change Guides YouTube Channel

Check out our YouTube Channel.  We have added new videos that cover a variety of topics to assist you in your change management needs.

In Your Shoes
Mirjam Dekker

Have you approached projects differently after the certification?  If so, how?
Oh my YES!  I have a big sign that says 'remain passionately neutral'.  The distinction between project manager & change manager is quite significant - it helps me put current projects in perspective (I am still the PM but am simultaneously moving into the CM role.)   I start every meeting with current state - followed by a SWOT  - moving to a [Desired] future state and a SWOT  -  from there I re-check my list of stakeholders. 

What advice do you have for others trying to drive change?
"Remain passionately neutral". It is so easy to get emotionally involved in a process at a place where you are a full time employee. As a consultant it might be 'easier' to step back and assess progress or drive change to a desired stage, being emerged into the process .... 'remaining passionately neutral'.

Drivers of change ..... we are not .... We drive a desire ... we line the process up so the targeted audience will drive the change ..... pushing a group of people up the hill of change is a challenge .... Creating a desire where they skip up the hill like Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie would be pretty awesome (okay I need more coffee... but you get the visual!) 

What one thing has helped you the most in driving change in your organization?
Understanding that there is a process and a sequence .... The tools are amazing. The tools can be adapted and applied at various stages. I started playing with the tools - so helpful (my tool belt of sanity!)

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