Business leaders are facing facts.
The world has changed, and the pace of that change isn’t slowing down any time soon. No one can stand still and rely on the old ways of doing business. Disruption is now a constant, exacerbated by game-changing new technologies and a heightened expectation for clear communication around operational changes.
In our last blog post, we talked about the value of hiring a certified change manager for a large project. But in a world where change is a constant, it may not be realistic to bring in an expert every time your organization faces a disruption. We often speak with leaders who don’t have the budget to hire external change management expertise to support a project.
These projects frequently experience pain points or are unsuccessful – and the organization going through it runs the risk of losing valuable employees and missing out on market growth opportunities due to delays or low ROI on key implementations.
So, what’s to be done?
If you’re one of those business leaders without the budget to bring in an expert, there are steps you can take to build your internal capability to manage disruption.
Building a Change-Able Culture
Your best option is to create a common approach to change across the organization. This means learning the principles, standards, and best practices of change management and applying those lessons in:
The way leadership manages your workforce
The way employees and clients are engaged
The type of communication and feedback provided
How training is managed
This becomes a ‘new way of working’. For this to be successful, it needs to be applied across all departments in an organization and become fully ingrained in the corporate culture.
All Managers Need to be Aligned
Consistency across all departments in an organization is essential to minimize ambiguity. If an enterprise strategy is aligned with best change management practices, your workforce will be thinking, talking, and applying their knowledge consistently and in the right way.
Another factor to keep in mind as you build your internal capability: collaboration is free. When budgets are limited, a great place to start is collaborating with other businesses and industries to identify best practices in managing and adapting to change. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach but gaining insight into what works well for leaders in a range of industries can be helpful.
This is how your organization can become ready for change at any moment: developing a culture where your workforce is agile, adaptable, resilient, and able to pivot to accommodate change, with or without the guidance of a paid expert. As you continue to recruit people who are well suited to this culture, it will come to a point where the ability to pivot is intrinsic and strongly embedded in your organization.
The Advantage of Change Management DIY
Bringing in an outside expert comes with many advantages, but when that isn’t an option, the DIY approach certainly has one major tick in the pro column: trust.
A Certified Change Management Professional™ doesn’t necessarily have the benefit of being embedded in your organization’s culture. Oftentimes, they haven’t had the opportunity to work with leaders and build trust over the course of months or years. This sense of “dealing with the new guy” can easily filter throughout your workforce in a way that wouldn’t happen when you’re relying on your internal resources to plan for change.
Of course, in many cases, the outside perspective a Certified Change Management Professional™ brings to an organization is tremendously valuable. But when you want to create an internal culture that is resilient in the face of change, the DIY method offers its own kind of value.
At the end of the day, it’s about dealing with the reality of change. Outside experts can provide important guidance and support but the best ones will help organizations build internal capacity for change management, something that will help an organization succeed on its own over time.
Change isn’t stopping and empowering your team to manage through the disruption. Being an organization that is change-able through any disruption is vital. That kind of agility can be the difference between success and failure.
Mariner brings change concepts to life with a unique learning experience from experts in the field through our Change Capabilities Development. Check out all the details on the Fundamentals of Change Management (QEP™) course. Our next session is October 4, 5, and 7.
Mariner’s Change Management Team