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Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future – John F. Kennedy

Think about a situation where the market is place changing very day. The organizations are passing through upheaval of recession. Slow down is the buzz word, experienced by almost business leaders. New organizations are continuously adding to the fortune lists where as thousands of organizations are getting listed out. All business leaders appreciate the importance of axiom “survival of the fittest”.

There has been time when business operations were comparatively stable and change occurred infrequently.  However now many business experts agree with Dr. John Kotter, who is widely regarded as the Guru of Change Management, that the rate of change is going to speed up in the next few decades and the business environment will become even more volatile.

For business leaders and managers, change management means that they must be able to both adapt quickly to make it effective. Maintaining a balance between adapting to change and managing it effectively is challenging for even the most adaptable leaders. Companies most likely to be successful in making change work to their advantage are the ones that no longer view change as a discrete event to be managed, but as a constant opportunity to transform the business.

There could be any kind of change in the company be it corporate restructuring, process up-gradation, cultural change or turnarounds but there are some common errors which must be taken care off while implementing change management such as

Not hiring subject matter experts: Generally companies delegate the responsibility of change management process to the in house leaders of the team without considering their expertise on the particular subject, which ultimately leads erroneous way of implementation. To have a successful change management one can hire experts to bring out the desired changes effectively. IT consultants, Branding consultants, Culture building consultants are common such examples.

Not developing a long term vision: Implementing Change is a long journey it’s not a single day event. People who are undergoing through change management have to come out from their comfort zone first than realizing the value of the change and finally reach to the acceptance phase of change. Developing a long term vision is key for change management. Any change also brings in related resistance. Therefore people need to motivate by showing long term benefits for change implementation. Following a short cut and pushing the change down to organization shall not deliver the desired results.  In the absence of long term vision the leaders disband the change effort prematurely and cease to communicate. Consequently, unexpected problems and resistance crop up, leading to further resistance.

Lack of senior leadership Sponsorship: Successful change initiatives needs strong committed executive sponsorship. It has been witnessed that executive sponsors have kicked off initiatives and then not seen or heard again; sponsors who are uninformed of their initiative’s progress are unsure how to help. At a minimum, there should be at least one senior executive designated as the overall sponsor and clearly accountable for the initiative.

Lack of necessary budget:  As they say penny wise and pound foolish. Companies need to budget adequately for organizational change activities. In surveys it’s been found that companies allocate inadequate budget for the change management effort. Many programs die a premature death due to lack of proper funding. The research says that adequate budget is needed for communication, celebrating a quick wins and training of professionals for making the change effective.

Not Reviewing regularly: Usually companies review the implementation progress infrequently which leads to employee dissatisfaction and erroneous results.   If change management activities are evaluated at regular intervals one can keep a check if the process is on right track or not. If the implementation is taking wrong shape it can be corrected at the initial stage which can save a lot of time, money and resources

Happy Change management

Rakesh Sharma

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