Successful organizational change requires two key ingredients: the right solution and the acceptance and adoption of that solution. This is summarized in the results equation:
Results = Quality of the Solution x Acceptance of the Solution
The desired results depend just as much on the acceptance and adoption of a solution as on the solution itself (and its implementation).
We used to say that change management kicks in after the solution is chosen – project management teams would focus on implementation while change management teams would focus on acceptance and adoption.
But there is an opportunity to include change management teams at the table while the solution is being decided.
Just as project teams are experts in the implementation of the solution, change management teams are experts in driving the acceptance or adoption of the change and recognizing risks that will inhibit success from a people perspective.
Change management practitioners know how to identify, clarify and communicate the current state and future state. From acquisitions to updating org charts, change practitioners view solutions from four perspectives:
- How will the solution impact the structure of the organization?
- How will the solution impact the way that people do work?
- How will the solution impact the company culture?
To improve the likelihood of project success, change practitioners challenge the design team to consider the current and future state from the four perspectives.
They also add value in the decision-making process: while design teams often concentrate on the solution itself, change management teams concentrate on the ease or difficulty of acceptance by the people impacted by the change. Change practitioners provide the information to incorporate the top success factors for organizational change into key strategic decisions.
The sooner change management teams are involved in a project, the sooner they can identify the risks and opportunities related to the acceptance and adoption of the solution. ■