Leading organisations are now moving beyond managing change on a project-by-project basis and are investing in an overall organisational strategy through building core competencies in enterprise change management. Embedding change management into an organisation’s foundation empowers the workforce to be proactive; ensuring they are more equipped to consistently deliver improved business performance from larger volume of change projects and programmes.
If implemented effectively, a change management strategy ensures every change project is managed effectively from the very outset, with each layer of employees within the organisation motivated to embrace and drive organisational change. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy that every organisation can follow, but there are 3 core elements that Prosci®’s Best Practices research has highlighted for a successful enterprise change management strategy - utilise a common approach, build leadership/sponsorship competency and lastly develop a structured and intentional plan.
1. Utilise A Common Approach
Top performing organisations seek out Best Practices and use current, unifying and evidence-based approaches and processes for various disciplines of management. So, why would they not do the same for enterprise change management? Adopting a common approach involves establishing international standards set by a reputable professional body such as the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) by implementing processes, tools, practices and a common language throughout all levels of the organisation.
There are various processes and tools that organisations can follow when managing the people side of change, but it is important to note that not every approach will work for every organisation. This is why research, resource planning and continuous assessment is required to ensure the organisation is utilising the best processes and tools available to them. Regardless of the approach taken, it must be consistent enterprise-wide for change management to be effective. Adopting the same processes across the organisation provides a platform for continuous learning and a benchmark for improvement as results can be captured and assessed; allowing improvements to be made as and when required. In addition, common resources can be shared and used across multiple projects and different parts of the organisation which will help to accelerate the learning curve and increase change capabilities.
2. Building Leadership/Sponsorship Competency
Senior leaders, management executives and supervisors must all be at the heart of the enterprise change management strategy. In order for the strategy to be implemented effectively, leadership/sponsorship at all levels need to support and spearhead the change initiatives. Their attitudes towards change and change management skills directly contributes towards the organisation’s change capabilities and employees’ acceptance of change. Leaders and Sponsors must speak with one voice and show commitment through their actions and communications, as their active and visible involvement is cited as the number one contributor to successful enterprise change management in all of Prosci®’s research.
Enterprise change management requires leadership/sponsorship to accept responsibility for making change happen in all areas that they personally oversee, all the while helping employees to understand the significant role they play and empowering them to become a driver of change.
It should be mentioned that these necessary roles and skills may not come naturally to all leaders/sponsors, therefore on-the job support, training, and coaching may be required for leaders/sponsors to effectively fulfil their roles. Many organisations committed to enterprise change management have discovered the benefit of creating full-time dedicated roles for change management facilitators in a central function often called a Change Management Office (CMO). They can monitor and contribute to the success of change initiatives and help ensure that various projects or change initiatives are timed effectively, with the correct resources being available.
3. Developing a Structured & Intentional Plan
The ability to quickly and efficiently respond to change is imperative to survive within today’s volatile working environment. A strategic approach to enterprise change management is embodied within an appropriately resourced and funded, structured and intentional plan, laying out the business results expected from the implementation of a successful enterprise change management strategy. This is created through effectively harnessing the previous two elements - utilising a common approach and building competent leadership/sponsorship. Combining the strength of the organisation’s change management processes, tools as well as its human competencies and skills, organisations can truly gain competitive advantage. Executing this strategic plan ensures organisations implement changes faster than competitors by increasing their agility and flexibility to change. Ultimately, leadership must facilitate a cultural and cognitive shift within the organisation to ensure that change management becomes an intrinsic part of every project.
Prosci® Enterprise Change Management Boot Camp is a one day interactive, fast paced program designed to help make change management a core competency for your organisation. The workshop is ideal for those charged with developing organisational change management capability. The workshop guides delegates through the steps required to build a compelling case for Enterprise Change Management in their organisations and shows them how to use Prosci’s Change Management Maturity Model™ to assess and set direction for improved organisational change management capability.