Leadership teams, especially new ones, typically have a vision to create change (like a culture change or some other new way of thinking) but no plan on how to get there that extends further than three or four months. Many of them say, “We’ll see how it goes and then adjust and/or decide on where to go from there”.
What do you think the chances of success are? Fairly limited at best!
There are some fundamental things to consider when embarking on any corporate journey. They can be summed up in five simple phases. We call it the “Roadmap to Change” or the “Transformation Roadmap”.
As organizations embark on this journey of transformation they run into some potential roadblocks or stumbling points along the way, such as:
- Decide — There are many factors that drive why a business needs to transform itself. They can be competitive, regulatory, financial, customer driven or cultural. They can even be as simple as a change in leadership. However, once there has been a decision to change certain factors need to be considered.
Not understanding the needs and requirements of the organization.
Failing to analyze where you have been and where you want to go and develop the “transition gap” that has to be crossed.
Believing they are capable of doing this alone and not selecting an experienced partner that can assist in the transition and will give open, honest and hard (when necessary) feedback.
2. Prepare — Upon deciding on the direction and gaining agreement, senior management must be prepared to articulate the strategy, direction, and plan to achieve the transformation. Watch out for:
Fragmented message from the top
Not developing a set of metrics
Refusing to identify and acknowledge “cultural” leaders
3. Launch — This is a phase of activity where you begin to educate the organization on the transformation direction, what values will change, what behaviors are expected, what will be the support structure to assist in the transformation and how people will be measured and evaluated. Individuals will need to be shown what to do and how to do things in a different manner. Watch out for:
Non-involvement of Leadership
Moving too fast
Lack of Measurement
4. Expand — This phase of the Roadmap is literally an expansion into all other parts of the organization as the cultural transformation begins to take on a life of its own. Watch out for:
Not recognizing what needs to be changed and making adjustments.
Understanding the level of maturity the “first adopters” have and providing some new tools, methods, and techniques for them.
Keeping in mind that “new adopters’ need nurturing and support and won’t just “get it”.
Developing a group of internal experts in change management to go after and address the “hard cases” that refuse change.
5. Sustain — Once an organization has reached this phase in a transformation they will be somewhere between 2.5 to 4 years in the maturity cycle. Sustaining is when the new cultural values have been embedded into your environment and you hear things like the operational individuals being able to quote the corporate vision and values and explain them to people.
Final Word: In summation, we hope this provides some clarity on the importance and value of taking the time and expense in developing a solid roadmap for change. It is a critical component of any change endeavor that you wish to execute. Without it you are left to complete incremental random activities that are executed at various levels of the organization; typically with limited success.
For an in-depth explanation of the importance of a roadmap, read the full article here.
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Author: Peter Robustelli
Peter J. Robustelli is Executive Vice President, Client Experience of Juran. Mr. Robustelli possesses over 25 years of diverse experience as a Key Executive in Process and Business Improvement, Consulting, Project Management, Client Management and Business Development. He is an effective, seasoned, hands-on executive who solves business problems and improves operating performance and profitability by integrating organizations, driving process improvement through statistical variation control, and restructuring organizations.
Mr. Robustelli’s primary areas of experience are Executive Leadership, Engagement Management, Change Management, Six Sigma, Lean, Business Process Management, Business Development, Evaluation and Assessment and Service Operations Management. His expertise crosses various industries, including, manufacturing, utilities, government services and transactional settings.