The maturity of this type of organizational change readiness assessment is still young and incomplete. What we do know, however, are the factors that contribute vitally to organizational change success. We know what aids change agility Combe, a. This area has been better researched and theorized. It is shown in Figure 1 below as the second consideration of formulate change in the process of moving a strategic priority to a successfully implemented and well-sustained new operational reality.
In this process, the assessment of change readiness is carried out in the management of the program and project portfolio even before the change is fully scoped. Given the critical decisions that rest on the assessment of change readiness, this paper offers guidance to the portfolio, program and project management community for assessing readiness for a specific program or project. In doing so, it offers practical working knowledge for practitioners, and begins to add theoretical options to the scarcity identified by Weiner What and who needs to be ready?
How ready is ready enough?
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And whose viewpoint should be used when judging readiness? Who and what: In current research on change readiness, as well as in consulting advice, there tend to be two primary points of view: 1 readiness is measured by the organization's financial, material, human and informational resources that can be applied to the change, and 2 readiness is determined by the psychological willingness of affected people to cooperate in bringing the change to fruition.
These points of view are not commonly brought together. Ready enough: Little, if any, attention has been given to the question of how to judge the degree of readiness needed to move forward with a change, and thus, the degree of risk abatement to apply. There may be pressure to use the viewpoint of one strong and influential proponent for the change as evidence that there is adequate readiness. Much of today's commercial assessment of readiness does a decent job of looking to the opinion of those most closely affected by the change, but it may neglect a complex environment of interlocking relationships and operating norms that requires a more holistic assessment.
Thus, even the language and concept of change readiness is difficult to pin down. For purposes of this paper, we will start from a working set of defining concepts. There are numerous studies that identify links between emotional confidence in a goal and the means of achieving it, and corresponding behaviors that support achievement of the goal, such as:. While few studies have directly examined these trends in direct relation to organizational change efforts, there is enough psychological and social data to conclude that confidence similarly influences outcomes of change programs.
Assessing change readiness, like assessing change agility, is most robust when it considers three key—and interlocking—drivers that either aid or impede change adaptation. These drivers of organizational change agility, shown in Figure 2, are detailed in Change Agility: Readiness for Strategy Implementation Combe, a. Organizational change agility is the intentional assessment of these drivers throughout the organization, and the planning of strategies to enhance over time the organization's ability to adapt rapidly and effectively to change as a steady or recurring state.
This longer-term strategic process is covered in detail in the publication noted above and in its companion piece, Building Change Agility: The Strategic Process for Agility Improvement Combe, b , and is not the subject of this discussion. However, these same drivers may be used as the basis for assessment of change readiness. Change readiness addresses only what is needed to assure success of a specific project or program; but, it serves the organization best when it provides feedback into organizational needs for change agility.
Many of the same factors that influence change agility also influence complexity. Thus, assessing change readiness early on in the project lifecycle aids the program or project team to assess and navigate complexity— or to recommend postponing a project because of the high risk associated with it at a point in time. Change Agility and Change Readiness. A chemical company well known for making fragrances that are ingredients in soaps, cleaning products and personal care items, over time has been entering the allied and profitable business of also compounding food flavors.
Recognizing that anything going into food is subject to increased regulation and potential sudden changes in sourcing or availability of ingredients, and is a highly competitive business, this company has carefully added to its change agility strategies long-term development of:. While the company attentively builds out these capabilities, it has undertaken a significant program to develop and market the compounds used in e-cigarettes.
Both the flavor and the fragrance sides of the business need to be involved, and the rapidly changing marketplace needs to be carefully monitored.
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It would be ideal if the long-term agility strategies were more fully realized, but what the company's change readiness assessment pointed out was that, for this project, the important areas for action were to:. Returning to the concept that change readiness is a measure of confidence backed by defensible data and information, assessing readiness for change is both a subjective and an objective process.
To use a familiar analogy, consider a couple's readiness to have a child. Similarly, many project management professionals are skilled at assessing the objective readiness factors as part of project risk assessment, but may find their projects and programs stumbling because of subjective issues not fully anticipated during planning. Even if recognized, these stumbling blocks are often ones not easily influenced by a project or program team because the constraints extend well beyond a single project or program.
This makes sense because it is at the portfolio level that decisions are made as to whether and when to move forward on programs and projects. Because change readiness assessments explore organization-wide, strategic considerations like cultural issues or commitment concerns, conducting an assessment in an organizational unit that interacts with the organization's strategy assures greater credibility of findings, and greater ability to influence appropriate responses.
The results of the change readiness assessment, by contrast, may be played out in actions and decisions at the portfolio, program or project level.
For example, at the portfolio level, a decision may be made to delay a project until change overload on a business unit is alleviated. At the program level, an effective system for knowledge sharing may be developed to unite business units involved in the change. Limited repeat assessments are inherent in an action such as a delay to clear change overload on a business unit.
These may be carried out by the portfolio management function, but may be most timely and effective if completed as part of program management.
In this case, results should continue to be forwarded to portfolio management for maintenance of the overall portfolio readiness view. In situations where portfolio management is not practiced or not practical, change readiness may be assessed and managed by the program or project team. The success of this approach is directly linked to the team's delegated ability to:. When a program or project manager is completing the readiness assessment and planning actions, having strong organizational support is crucial.
Change readiness management is both a risk prevention and a risk mitigation activity. The drivers of change readiness and change agility are depicted at a high level in Figure 2. This section creates a model for assessing the most important elements of readiness implied within those drivers, bringing Figure 2's contextual framework to a practical level for action.
Whether the organization is using commercial assessment products or developing its own assessments, these models help to determine the adequacy of the assessment process. Assessing readiness in organizational capacity is the most objective part of the assessment process, because it deals in large part with observable and even measurable attributes. In a capacity assessment, you are trying to learn whether organizational resources are ready, willing, and able to deliver a successful implementation, to integrate it into existing business processes, and to realize sustained benefits as envisioned.
A capacity assessment reviews the elements of people, processes, technology, physical resources, and organizational systems—and the interactions among them, as shown in Figure 3.
These elements are commonly mentioned in many commercial assessment products. However, there is inconsistency in the descriptions of what is important to assess in each element—both what is included in the review and what is important to gauge. Translating these broad questions into more specifics, elements of a capacity assessment might be characterized as in Figure 4. It also points to a number of judgments that must be made in readiness based on the broad questions.
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The capacity factors are fundamental and immutable. Without them, the change has little chance of success, no matter the degree of management resolve. Sirkin, Keenan and Jackson reached this conclusion in a Harvard Business Review article on why change management efforts fail. One of the most common partial truths about fostering successful change revolves around the role of a sponsor or champion.
Over time, it trumps any work by a sponsor. This is one of many commitment questions that are rarely fully addressed in judging readiness for a change. The commitment assessment gives greater insight into the crucial measure of confidence in the organization's ability to apply its capacity to the envisioned ends. What the commitment portion of the readiness assessment tests is captured in Figure 5.
These elements represent the contexts that contribute positively to development of commitment. The primary questions that contribute to individual and shared resolve to implement and sustain a change are listed in Table 1. The sets of questions are also presented in somewhat of a priority order. For example, if there is little value alignment or involvement, the degree of time availability or skill development is inconsequential in creating commitment.
It is interesting to note in this structure that perceived value is placed last in order of importance for judging commitment. This may seem counterintuitive to the oft-quoted sponsor role of communicating need and benefits of the change. Cunningham, et al. Thus, all the sponsor emphasis on need for change and its benefits may fall on deaf ears if people feel the other commitment factors are not in order.
Culture is often pointed to as the most prominent cause of failure in programs and projects. For example, if the change is one imposed from the outside, like a regulatory change, the degree of openness to innovation may not be critical to assess, but the adaptability of systems and policies would be a crucial cultural norm to consider. Figure 6 identifies the areas of culture that have the most pronounced effect on a change program, broken down into the set of cultural values that most impact the ability of people in the organization to change, and the mechanisms in the organization that have the greatest impact—positive or negative—on implementation and acculturation of the change.
Values, especially cultural values, are mentioned consistently in research on change success and failure. While it is more appropriate for an organization to be attentive to these values holistically as part of an assessment of change agility, they are mentioned here because their presence or absence are certain to have an impact on a given change. Trust is an overriding value, the absence of which significantly depletes chances for success of a change.
In assessing trust, the main values assessed are:. Cohesion is the quality of the organization to pull together in pursuit of its goals. It requires the trust outlined above.
It is assessed by considering:. Sharing is the intentional building of common interest and language, and requires trust and cohesion see above to be successful. Skip to content Skip to search. Language English View all editions Prev Next edition 5 of 7. Coldicott, Hilary, Ebooks Corporation. Content Types text Carrier Types volume Physical Description viii, pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Subjects Interpersonal relations. Organizational change. Intelligence quotient. Mental health. Multiple intelligences. Summary "Practical guidance on how to manage change successfully, be it large scale, such as cultural change, or slower, incremental change. Contents 1. The change leadership compass 2. Introduction to business intelligence BQ 3. Developing BQ 4. Auditing the external and internal environment 5.
Strategic analysis 6. Implementing change 7. What is spiritual intelligence SQ? How SQ can help in times of change 9. Identifying and developing SQ Creating your personal vision Creating your personal values Creating organizational vision and values and bringing them to life An introduction to political intelligence PQ Increasing your PQ Influencing others during change Influence strategies during change What is EQ and how can it help during change?
Assessing your EQ How to increase your self-awareness How to increase your self-confidence How to increase your self-discipline To survive in a world where the amount of change is high and the complexity of operation is also high, businesses need people who are both strong leaders and managers. Considerable Leadership and Little Management would work for a small, highly motivated group of people - perhaps doing Research and Development or product innovation or for a consultancy group. Considerable Management and Little Leadership would work in production eg manufacturing where there is a lot of emphasis on managing processes or production lines and where there is little change e.
Considerable Leadership and Management would work well in any organization where there is a large amount of change and the complexity of the operation is high e. So in most organizations today, people with responsibility for others need to develop their ability to lead others towards future organizational goals.
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In 'The Flight of the Buffalo', by Dr. James A. Belasco and Ralph C. Stayer drew the analogy of the buffalo and the goose. Buffalo herds tend to follow their leader at any cost, even if doing so is injurious to the herd. Flocks of geese travel thousands of miles to their winter migration site. The geese fly in formation with the lead goose at the front of the V providing direction to the rest of the flock.
During migration the geese take it in turns to take the lead. Each member of the flock knows the route the flock is taking and is capable of taking over the V position when the lead goose is tiring. Likewise in the business environment, managers throughout an organization need the ability to navigate the sea of change.
Everyone who manages people and resources needs these skills, irrespective of their title or role.
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