Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Angels of change

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Any change to the existing system is always resisted and feared.

It is the basic human nature that the very thought of making a change in life can be so intimidating that even though you want to be the master of your own destiny, you'll end up doing nothing, simply because you are so afraid of that change. As the old proverb says, “The Devil you know is better than the one you don’t”. This great fear of the unknown causes people not to take chances and to stay in situations where they’re not very happy.

Same is the case with modern enterprises. Here software automates a wide variety of business processes and a change made to the software, in effect, means the change to the business process itself. This is always resisted and feared and this is where the techniques and experts of change management process come in to picture.

Why fear for change?

Again due to human nature, as soon as people think about change they start playing the ‘what if?’ game.
• What if I make a mistake?
• What if it’s worse than what I have now?
• What if I fail?

In case of software change, to add to the pain, there are a set of known devils that is expected and feared by the management. Like;

· Poor Software quality

· Dissatisfied Business Customers

· Unnecessary Reworks

· Misses Deadlines

· Higher Costs

· Filed Changes

· Downtime in Production environment

How to address this?

There are some proactive steps required to counteract on the resistance, ignorance and denial for changes in corporate society. As popularly told, Change management is 80% art and 20% science, and the science part of it almost begins with recruiting an Executive Champion or a Change Implementer.

Now what is the role of a change implementer, apart from rolling out, training and supporting the change? There are many;

  • Inspiring people to move; increasing the urgency by making the objectives real, relevant and measurable; so that each of the members can see their own progress towards the objective the speed of progress and the benefits.
  • Establish the right vision and strategy with focus on emotional and creative aspects necessary to drive service and efficiency.
  • Communicate and get the buy-in. involve as many people as possible, communicate the essentials in a manner which is simple and with appeal. Make technology work for you, not against you.
  • Empower action, remove obstacles, and enable constructive feedbacks and lots of support from leaders. Reward and recognize progress and achievements
  • Highlight achieved milestones and the ones coming up. Encourage determination, persistence and ongoing progress reporting
  • Reinforce the value of successful change by getting more change agents from the existing user group and wave changes to culture.

In short, what is the role of a change implementer in corporate society?

They are the ones helping people to go through the feared process of change with confidence and ease. They offer a helping hand to everyone in need during the journey of change towards a better tomorrow. They are the right hand of the one who controls the change, they are angels; Angels of Change.


Dan Webb said...

Impressive, Vishnu! Did you know that I've delivered teamwork training to help with corporate change management and organization development? So our resonance continually deepens.

One of the key factors that, in my experience, MOST managers fail to consider when they're trying to improve processes or change the culture is the fear factor. People fear not guessing the politically correct response to appease their boss's ego. If managers would encourage individuality and free expression and then back it up by not punishing people who vigorously question and push out the envelope, they would be amazed what their team can accomplish ... and have fun doing it!

I'd like to actively encourage conversations about our culture at Whale Projects sometime. Sada and I have these from time to time.

All the best,

Dan Webb said...

Also, please see an article about unexpected change as an opportunity for personal growth, by one of my best friends --> http://www.first30days.com/profiles-of-change/philip-gonzales

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