Developing a vision for change within your organization

By - December 22, 2015

Technology is instrumental in driving efficiencies in private-sector and government operations. Your technology initiatives must align people, processes and technology to help meet your organization’s strategic goals. Achieving such sustainable alignment is sometimes difficult.

As system changes are implemented, organizations must be able to change the way in which they work, develop new skill sets, and ultimately modify their overall culture. It is also likely that your new process and/or technology changes will result in new inter-relationships, interfaces, and roles. It is essential that the organization fully understands and embraces these new changes.

To achieve the full potential of any process improvement or systems implementation initiative, it is important that you understand and assess a number of critical success factors such as:

  • Developing a shared vision, strategy and a powerful business case that justifies the need for change
  • Engaging and aligning leaders to develop a guiding coalition for enlisting support for changes
  • Preparing and mobilizing stakeholders whose support and buy-in will be critical to success
  • Creating and supporting high performing project teams in delivering the change
  • Aligning processes and the organization with new changes and attain agreement at all levels within the organization
  • Aligning skills and competencies of the people so they are positioned to successfully perform their work in the future
  • Adapting performance management processes and measurements to enable the change
  • Addressing behavior and culture gaps that may surface resulting from a shift in performance expectations and the manner in which personnel work on a daily basis

It is critical that you formalize a vision for change customized to your organization and change initiative. Your development of a vision for change should be centered on proven approaches designed to build ownership in the success of the initiative and providing the tools necessary for success.

An example of a framework that informs building approaches to managing change is Kotter’s change management theory. Dr. John Kotter, professor at Harvard Business School and expert on change management, developed the 8-Step Process for Leading Change commonly applied to change initiatives.

The eight steps are highlighted below:

  • Step 1: CREATE a sense of urgency
  • Step 2: BUILD a guiding coalition
  • Step 3: FORM a strategic vision and initiatives
  • Step 4: ENLIST a volunteer army
  • Step 5: ENABLE action by removing barriers
  • Step 6: GENERATE short term wins
  • Step 7: SUSTAIN acceleration
  • Step 8: INSTITUTE change

Additionally, you should establish clear measureable goals and benefits in order to inspire and direct the project teams and stakeholders within the organization. You should also identify anticipated resistance and risks in order to monitor and address them in a timely manner. To learn more about how RSM can assist you with your other business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

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