Change Management Doesn’t Happen Magically

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By Donna Gray
Change Management Specialist

It’s a common opinion among many executives that change should just happen when a new program is being implemented into a company’s operations.

I’m here to tell you that the old adage of ‘cowboy up’ when change is afoot doesn’t always work. Here are three reasons why:

1. Denial Won’t Make Change Go Away — Most of us hate change, especially when it involves our time, energy, attention and commitment. Only when a fire is lit under us, we’ll move–and that usually is accompanied by a threat that something valuable (like income, job, career success or even personal relationships) is at stake. Most companies implement new digital systems (Enterprise Resources Plans), operational and safety programs because clients, industry leaders or regulatory rules dictate them. Assuming that everyone will embrace change can lead to unintended situations, especially in ensuring the daily practice of safety management.

2. Pockets of Resistance Are Everywhere — Executives, managers, long-term employees and new hires have kicked and screamed their way through change, partly out of fear of the investment and the potential for something to suffer (regular duties and performance) in the process. There will be resistors–but they may be quiet in the corner or lurking in teams, potentially sabotaging your efforts. Setting standards for teamwork, adoption, reinforcement and consequences of resistance need to be established before change takes place. One senior executive resisted adopting a new email management system process (his secretary purged his messages regularly, and  he was having a temper tantrum that he would now be responsible). Communications with this ‘leader’ uncovered his fear of technology, and that he would be sacrificing his valuable time swinging deals. The irony was, he saw the project as valuable for the company, but he didn’t want to be included in championing the process. The result? The big boss gave him an ultimatum, and not surprisingly, he relented and learned how to curate his emails.

3. Change Doesn’t Stick with Simple Systems Training — Systems training is very linear and reliable. The vendors supply the integration specialists to show you what buttons to press and what steps to take, but what is really lacking is the business processes and procedures that shift as a result of the new system. But alas, the software programmers are not in charge of preparing your people for this aspect. Without the formal review and updates to processes, and the training that comes with them, the system is essentially a single dancer without a partner. Change Management helps to see the whole picture rather than simply installing the program and hoping for the best.

APlus Actions offers training, workshops, plans and materials that fit your budget, needs and objectives for your new safety, operations and project systems and plans. It’s more affordable than you think, actually. Give us a call for a free consultation and let’s discuss your ideas for change.

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