In several of Prosci's recent benchmarking studies one of the top trends identified by participants was a greater recognition of the need for and business value of change management. However, whilst some change practitioners see change management being requested, many others are still striving to create a compelling business case for the need for change management.
After the clear definition of the business outcomes for a project often the next step, where there is a significant impact on people from the project, is to build an effective business case for investment in an appropriate level of change management budget and resources. Successful organisational change ultimately requires a collective change in the behaviour of each individual employee impacted directly by the change; each unit of change contributing towards the achievement of the expected business value and Return on Investment (ROI). Effective change management is therefore vital to the delivery of business results and practitioners must learn to sell change management to project leaders, executives and other influential stakeholders by drawing the connection to project, functional and business outcomes in languages that these different audiences understand.
The What and the Why
When considering change and the greatest forces of resistance, it is not often the specific type of change which is being implemented which causes the greatest obstacle. While employees might balk at the suggestion of a particular change, it is rare that they are incapable of the change being asked of them. More often, it is the case that they lack the appropriate awareness of the need required to make the change – an understanding of why they are required to adopt the change, why now and why they can’t stay as they are. In other words, paraphrasing the German philosopher Friedrich Nietsche “he who has a strong understanding of why can bear almost any how”.
The failure to understand ‘why’ is often the biggest cause of resistance and barrier to the adoption of change in both front-line employees and line managers.
Communicating the Value of Change Management
"The case for change management is inextricably connected to project and organisational success. If you are not talking about achieving results, then you are having the wrong conversation." ~ Tim Creasey, Prosci Chief Innovation Officer
As change management practitioners, we understand that the value of change management in driving organisational success is extensive. We understand that when implemented correctly, communication practices can improve dramatically; we recognise that training methods become more efficient; and that change resistance can be substantially reduced.
To some these are compelling reasons, but to many more these might not be persuasive enough. When communicating the value of change management and to create a compelling 'why', practitioners should work to understand the audiences impacted by the change in order to find the motivator that speaks directly to each of them. When implementing a change or creating a business case for change management, understanding the dynamics that exist between your audience and the proposed change is key.
When illustrating the journey of change to your audience it becomes essential to understand how it impacts them as a person and as an individual within the organisation. By understanding the impact change might have on them as both an individual and as an employee you can begin to identify a compelling ‘why change?’ that links directly to their personal concerns and successes. In any organisation, financial motivators have a substantial influence on an individual’s perceptions of the need for change management.
Illustrating the Bottom Line
The case for investing in an appropriate level of change management on a specific project often needs to be made with various audiences within the business - may it be an executive leader, project leader, internal consultant or any stakeholder with a vested interest in change. The important part is to understand what they care about. The key to making a successful business case is connecting change management to the specific audiences’ concerns, targets and drivers for success. Reinforce your position by not only illustrating the value of implementing change management with data, but also the costs and risks of poorly managed change.
There are also a range of other tactics that can be deployed in building a convincing case. For more information on running the half-day Prosci Building the Business Case for Change Management Workshop from CMC Partnership Asia for your organisation, a workshop that includes instruction in a suite of Prosci templates and tools, please enquire today.
With a combination of the above, you can draw out the connection between effective change management and financial performance, strategic goals and project delivery. Drawing this connection allows the attitude towards change management to be altered from a 'nice to have' to a 'must have' - building the case for change management within your organisation. It allows the conversation to be changed from one about justifying the cost of change management and move it towards a conversation explaining how the people-dependent portion of the expected project ROI can be realised.
Are you ready to craft a compelling 'why' for your change?
3-day Prosci Change Management Practitioner Certification Programme
In addition to the private half-day Prosci Building the Business Case workshops from CMC Partnership Asia mentioned above the public, open enrolment 3-day Prosci Change Management Practitioner Certification Programme from CMC Partnership Asia also covers this topic at a higher level.
Ready to evaluate the success of your change projects?
CMC Partnership Asia are hosting 3-day Prosci Practitioner Certification courses in Singapore during the months of May and June. These vital courses cover:
- Prosci® ADKAR® Model
- Resistance Management
- Concepts of Change
- Return on Investment (ROI)
Don't miss out. Register your interest today and begin your journey to better change management.