Change is inevitable, but, are you driving it or being driven by it? The focus of effective change management is to drive business results and outcomes within an organisation through optimising the engagement of impacted employees, motivating them to fully adopt new ways of working and let go of the past. Whether the change is structural, a new process, system or job role, the success of a change is only possible if each individual employee adapts their behaviour and begins to perform their role in a proficient way.
Implementing effective change requires involvement from many people in the organisation. Leaders, line managers and front-line employees ultimately deliver the changes developed by programme, project and change teams. Each role's relationship with change is different and each has different responsibilities in implementing effective change.
Sustainable success depends on the ability to change attitudes and practices at all levels of a business, transforming workplace cultures. There is an abundant body of evidence that the successful adoption of change not only falls to the individuals involved but requires the development and full use of the talent and skills of everyone throughout an entire organisation. This is of course no easy task when attempting to implement change, the requirement for fresh thinking and new perspectives on problem solving are often crucial, particularly when there is a need to mitigate resistance from all levels.
The Fifth Element
One of the most significant obstacles to employee involvement and participation is partial change, which is the failure to recognise that an organisation consists of interdependent sections that either aid or destroy innovative ways of working. The Fifth Element approach from Workplace Innovation Europe (EUWIN), however, focuses on an organisation as one cohesive system.
The Fifth Element provides a practical, evidence-based approach making it easier to understand innovative practices and their impact on performance within the workplace. Every organisation has its own culture, which is developed over time, The Fifth Element approach describes the enabling, responsive and innovative culture that is deeply embedded within some organisations. These types of cultures are not a product of initiative or leadership development programmes, they are created when each of the other four elements are in place creating a system of mutually reinforced practices. The use of shared learning is an extremely useful resource in finding ways to adapt to outdated attitudes to new practices. It enables an organisation to highlight tried and tested approaches, avoiding redundant practices, while stimulating new thinking and innovation.
Combined with Prosci's 3-phase model for organisational change success - Preparing for Change, Managing Change, Reinforcing Change - that provides a structured approach for effective change management at a project level, this marriage of tools, processes and techniques for culture and structured change can deliver significant performance improvements.
Why Each Role Matters
Within every organisation an entire system of people can support employees when making their individual transitions through change, ranging from the highest level of leadership to the front-line supervisors. The importance of managing and supporting change relies on the coordination of each role moving in sync to consistently deliver the benefits of a structured process approach. There are five key roles each organisation should use to their advantage when implementing change:
- Change Management Resource/Team
- Executives and Senior Managers
- Managers and Supervisors
- Project Team
- Project Support Functions
Prosci has designed a series of change management training programs, one for each of these 5 critical roles, that CMC teach. You can see how these are connected in the graphic below.