There are many ways an organization can build a change management core competency. But from our experience, we’ve found organizations find the most success by following five specific steps. We call it the “five pillars” of building a change management core competency. Which of these five pillars do you do best and where do you see opportunities for improvement?
- Build a common change management model and methodology. A common change management platform, tool set and language are required. While the model and methodology can and should be adapted to your organization’s existing processes (e.g., Six Sigma), it needs to be consistent enterprise-wide.
- Support internal organizational change agents, consultants and facilitators. It’s common for an organization to have a centralized place for change resources – within functions or business units, depending on corporate staff resources. Regardless of the approach you chose – or is currently set up in your organization – it’s critical to develop and support the change agents, consultants and facilitators that will help with the change. Some companies are even creating full-time roles and career paths for these facilitators.
- Ensure a well-positioned, functional and visible CMO/PMO infrastructure. Having a well oiled change and project management office provides organizations with the resources to manage multiple, simultaneous changes, and helps assure that various projects fit together from a timing, sequencing and scope perspective.
- Secure skilled and capable management as sponsors and leaders of change. It is not enough to be committed to change management. Leaders have to be able to give evidence of this commitment through their actions and communications. Few leaders advance to their levels by being great change agents. For many, the sponsorship skill set may be something new.
- Establish change management as a discipline that is part of every change project. Institutionalization of change management requires a cultural shift. And the cultural shift requires that it’s part of every project every time. It doesn’t happen by declaring it, but assuring that the discipline is practiced and learned so that it eventually becomes second nature.