Saturday, July 24, 2021

Change Management – Futuristic View

During the pandemic, organizations started to realize the value of their People Capital. Employees supported full heartedly to continue the business, took risk of the infection, few employees were working from home, however majority of the workmen were serving the people, working in factories, delivering food and groceries to the society. People become innovative and creative in designing their business models, creating support systems, and also helping their organizations. Of course, there was another black side where employees were laid off, their salaries were cut, and benefits were withdrawn. Unfortunately, In India, we have a huge unemployment rate, people will forget their actions and they will still get employees in normal course.   

But it is clear that professional organizations have to take the people centric approach. The pandemic is also bringing a lot of change management initiatives, digitalisation projects etc, but employees are also expected to demonstrate new behaviours.

So, what should be the approach of leaders and HR professionals during and after the pandemic in change management?  

In any change, we have two aspects, emotional and rational.

Rational aspects are easy to manage, emotional aspects are difficult. Project failures are more when emotional aspects are not managed properly. Hence during any change initiative, one of the pillars in change management should be dedicated to the people. Generally, it is done, but most of the time, the importance is not given much. You will find 3 types of people anywhere, in society, community, or organizations.

Optimistic: in spite of having setbacks and their bad experience in earlier changes, these people are optimistic about the future. They give another chance and are instrumental in creating the positive atmosphere around them. Be with them and make them allies. They may be your opinion makers in the organization.

Pessimist: of course, these people are negative and always see the worst part of everything. They believe that the worst will happen from any change. These people are troublemakers.

Sitting on Fence: Majority people will sit on the fence without any positive or negative opinion. They watch, observe, and then decide what to do or to whom to support. If you ask them to do something during the process, they will do it depending upon their interest or they will do it half-heartedly.  Most of the time, these people will not communicate what they feel or how they see the change. Few people choose to sit on the fence because of insecurity or fear. You need to take these people along and ensure that they are communicated and heard properly. They need a strong story to change.

While working on different change projects or initiatives I have learnt a few things. During the change process, people have some expectations as under:

Alignment: Generally, most of the employees have a desire to understand the context for the work they do and understand how they make a difference. 

Involvement: Majority of employees who have a good attitude want to be part of the game and the bigger picture. They want to be involved where their work is affected, and they go beyond their routine tasks and responsibilities.

Attachment: Most of the employees have emotional attachment to the organisation and the work it does. They want to be consulted and respected. They want their emotional attachment to be recognised.

What is said is done: They expect to walk the talk. They expect that there is an alignment of what is said and what is done.

To fulfill those expectations, we need a powerful gear-set.

We need to change the gear at the appropriate time based on the culture and psyche of the organization. Psyche is a collective spirit of the organization. I have used the following gears while implanting any change in the organization.

Organizational gears 

Organization has to do some homework while designing the gear-set. The lever has three gears, i.e., awareness, purpose, and values.  

If you see the following gear diagram, first gear is always bigger as if awareness is created properly, shifting to the next gear is not that difficult.
Organizational gear-set
Once we do it, we need to communicate to employees what is expected from them during any change initiative or while implementing any project. We have to design those gears, assemble, and create another gear set. This gear set has to be handed over to employees through workshops and constant communication sessions.

Gear-set for employees:  
Gear-set for employees
These two gear-set are the part of the whole organizational change management project. Those go hand in hand. You have to handover those gears to the right people in the organization. Most of the strategies, projects failed because those gears are not designed properly, and the right people are not deployed for designing and changing those levers. The crucial thing is how you use the lever and shift the gears at the right time.

The problem is that the speed of the project is not dependent on the sequential shift of gears. You have to switch the gear back if required.

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga 


Unknown said...

Amazing Article. Very well covered which gears are required for organization and individual during change management. Worth reading for Sunday

Unknown said...

Nice one .... you includes all desire parts to succeed i.e. awarnawar, purpose, value, behaviour, commitment and Motivation..

Unknown said...

A well thought out article,You have taken care of all the apprehensions,fears and doubts of employees...Some companies are run by LEFT brain others by RIGHT brain bosses YOU have shown us how to run an organisation by using the balanced brain approach..WELL DONE !!!

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