In order for an organisation to take on a strategy for change, it needs to understand what the four key drivers for change management really are. The why, what, how and when of strategic change within an organisation are the initial steps in developing this strategy.
Firstly, change usually comes about as a result of pressure. Whether it is a trend or one of the key drivers that has shifted, change becomes inevitable and the company needs to embrace it sooner rather than later. This reason WHY change is necessary is essential in determining the urgency and necessity for the organisation to band together around a new strategy and each follow a clear focus on shifting towards the new change. The internal reasons why change is necessary are often the most obvious when things are not going well. It could be bad management or declining sales, however the reasons for change when things are going well are harder to pinpoint. Sometimes change is necessary to keep yourself ahead of the game and in the leading market position. Without understanding why change is necessary, the strategy for change will just fall to the bottom of the ‘In’ tray where it is forgotten and neglected.
So lets say that the organisation recognises why they need to develop a strategy for change, the next step is to understand what they need to change to. Whether it is their purpose, culture, vision or values, it is important for the organisation to define what they are as well as what they are not. By generating a shared and focused strategy the organisation will be able to face change more directly and with better unity. Without it, however, conflicting agenda, fast starts and disillusionment will be quick to set in.
In reality, an understanding of the need for change as well as a clear, focused and shared strategy is only going to work if an organisation has the capabilities to change. Big plans and dreams of grandeur are only feasible if there are resources to back it up, processes set in place and a sense of governance to direct the project. How you are going to change will either lead to ownership, motivation, inspiration and initiative or simply to a huge sense of frustration and an overriding anxiety.
The last key driver in the strategic change process is that of actionable steps. This is otherwise known as ‘the who by when’. Delegation of authority gives people a sense of accountability; identification of critical victories allow for tactical movements; the development of your capacity provides reasonable goals and measurement criteria is where you draw your lessons from the strategy. It is also important to celebrate what has been achieved so that people know they are on the correct journey. Rewarding and acknowledging achievements further increases morale and motivation to developing the strategy. That said, nothing will ever change unless you get up and make that change happen.
The organisations which don’t appreciate these four elements are the ones who don’t see the desired results from their strategy. In everything an organisation chooses to do, it should always take into account the why, what, how and when.
What other elements would you add in to this mix for developing a successful strategy for change? Let me know in the comments section below.