Change management can be complex, unpredictable, and unnerving. Therefore, it is little surprise that many change management strategies – despite the best intentions of their instigators – fail to live up to expectations.
It is an all-too familiar situation, but one that can be avoided.
When leaders of change have 360 degrees insight, change can not only be seamless, it can also be empowering, meaningful, and motivating.
Here are three of the common change management mistakes that can stand in the way of full organisational awareness and leadership.
1) Failing To Lead The Work Climate
Work climate is a word that can instil panic in the heart of anyone. Yet at its core, the word means ‘region’. When we talk about climate, we are talking about the unique colours, flavours, and dynamics that give a region its identity.
As in the natural world, the climate of an organisation has a fundamental influence on whether a company’s strategy will flourish or flail. Change managers who cannot read the climate of an organisation risk being uninformed and unprepared. Without this vital information, any decision is a matter of throwing chance to the wind.
The human dynamic of a company is a synergy of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. Anyone who can interpret the ebbs, flows, and tides has a powerful insight into how to orchestrate change management.
Anyone who blunders in with a cold, crisp, battering ram of strategic logic not only risks creating shockwaves from which a company can never recover, but also misses out on engaging the turbine of insightful human engagement.
2) Forgetting The Customers
During times of change, the natural tendency is to turn the telescope inwards into the interior of an organisation. Acting like surgeons, change managers often target their system mechanics in the hope of achieving organisational health.
However, this very common decision often leads to failure because it ignores the basic recognition that organisations and customers are symbiotic. Without one there would not be the other, and both exist in continual dialogue.
Being able to understand and analyse customer information in combination with organisational climate gives agents of change meaningful control and formidable insight.
The thoughts, feelings, and ideas of customers drive innovation.
An adaptive organisation is one that harnesses this creative energy for purposeful, relevant change.
3) Overlooking Soft-Skill Dynamics
Change managers need to have robust, well-grounded, practical characteristics: an ability to root out inefficiencies, to strategically plan, and to assess risk. Yet organisations are fuelled by their soft skill dynamics. Intrinsic elements such as behaviours, skills, attitudes, and motivations, are the living, breathing body of a company.
Change managers who overlook this detail risk coming across like an overly-critical personal trainer dragging an out-of-practice and potentially unwell person to a full-on cross-fit session.
The result is that the organisation can become more debilitated, or frightened of change, or both.
By recognising that the climate of an organisation is created by the dynamics of its soft skills, a change manager can work with an organisation rather than against it.
The Human Face Of Change
Change managers have an undeniably complex task. On the one hand, change requires practical, logical solutions. Far reaching restructuring and strategic solutions are often necessary. However, the reason that change often fails is because diagrams, graphs, and charts fail to take into account the fact that all organisations are human.
The dynamics of thoughts, feelings, and perceptions – whether from within the company, or from its customers – are the richest source of information and energy. By gaining this greater awareness, adaptive business consultants have a vast reserve of insight at their disposal. To find out what this means for your organisation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +44 (0) 1462 670342.