Moving from a project orientation and those first few successes, to one of cultural and organizational transformation, requires specialized advice and skills. In that regard, no two clients are the same.
We have clients who are already expert in one or more transformational and change management competencies. Our approach with them is different from those whose success to date has been based on a consistent business formula that may be nearing the end of its shelf life. Although the term “change management” has evolved to be a set of practices to facilitate the transition from one state to another, conceptually, we have viewed it as somewhat of a misnomer.
We don’t manage change, so much as facilitate it in a way that assures soft landings, and therefore, durable results. Change management is an integral part of all of our process improvement projects. The reasons are entirely practical…simple really.
We know that even change for the better can meet with resistance, with the added insight that such resistance often comes from the fear engendered by uncertainty.
The issue, to our clients at least, is not the resistance, but the uncertainty and the perceived lack of influence over decisions that affect one’s workplace destiny. We help our clients approach change transitions as opportunities for employee engagement, and for us, its engagement starts early, whether it be through project team membership, participation in heads-down Value Stream Mapping sessions, process design workshops, Kaizen “burst improvement” initiatives, data validation huddles or on the front end of the improvement implementations themselves. In fact, employees who are closest to processes are often the most authoritative sources of diagnostic information and suggestions for improvement.
It would be misleading to claim that all change is conflict-free. It would not be misleading to claim that our change management model works because it relies on internal impetus as much as external influence. We have helped many clients successfully meet their strategic objectives and guided them through the change management process by ensuring that they have: