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Breakfast Roundtable - Brookfield

December 13, 2017
7:15 AM - 9:00 AM
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Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel
375 S Moorland Rd
Brookfield, WI 53005
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Join us on Wednesday, December 13th as we discuss:

"CHANGE THAT STICKS" - A Road Map For Transformation 

Enjoy stress-free casual conversation about today’s hottest topics and earn CE points.

Change That Sticks

A road map for transformation
  • Ron Crabtree
 
March/April 2016
When facilitating or leading a change effort, it’s essential that the people involved buy into the initiative; that they adjust their behaviors accordingly; and that, in the end, the transformation is “sticky.” This means that the improvement is sustainable long after it is put into place.


The amount of rigor to apply depends on the nature of the change at hand. The three key factors to consider are level of complexity, size of the organization and number of people involved, and stakes for success. Once the people involved have determined the appropriate level of rigor and agreed to maintain it, it’s time to begin.

There are 10 phases that must be carried out when working toward sustainable change:

  1. Initiate the vision for change. In this phase, team members should agree on the change statement, success factors, and scope. Clearly describe in 20 words or less what the change is going to be about. From there, come up with at least three success factors that describe what success will look like. These also should be fairly short statements and ideally will include something tangible and measurable. Think about people, process, and technology. Finally, determine the scope, focusing on who and what processes are affected.
  2. Identify and analyze stakeholders. Think about the three groups most commonly involved in organizational change: internal stakeholders, external suppliers, and external customers. The venerable RACI model is useful here. RACI describes the people who are responsible for doing the work to achieve the change, who are accountable for the correct and thorough completion of the change, who should be consulted about the change, and who are informed about progress.
  3. Evaluate overall readiness. The three keys to sustainable change are the level of discomfort, the vision achieved, and the skills associated with effective implementation. Each of these can be scored on a scale from 1 to 100 percent and then multiplied together to identify the overall sustainable change factor. Begin by determining the level of discomfort from 1 to 100 percent. If people generally don’t see a need, it should get a very low percentage; if everyone is up in arms demanding something be changed now, the score could be close to 100 percent. Then, using the same scale, evaluate the degree to which the vision of the change is clearly understood. Do people know what they must do personally for this change to be successful, and how they will measure results? If not, then it's obviously going to receive a low percentage. For new change initiatives, this is often the case, and it is therefore incumbent on facilitators and leaders to close that gap quickly. Finally, assess the level of skills present in the organization to effectively implement the change. If it requires entirely new skills, assign a low percentage. On the other hand, if those involved already possess the necessary skills—and it’s just a matter of instilling discipline to implement—then the percentage should be high. Keep in mind that a very low score doesn’t necessarily mean disaster, but sustainable change will demand that stakeholders raise the numbers over the long run.
  4. Develop a charter and guiding coalition with SMART goals. At a minimum, this phase should include the previously established change statement, success factors, and scope; project name; change summary; a list of process owners and sponsors; any necessary background information; success measures; and a timeline with key milestones. Next, create a guiding coalition composed of the top change sponsors and representatives of key stakeholder groups. These likely will be people from the “responsible” and “accountable” RACI classifications. If the change will affect any organized labor, representatives from this group should be included as well. The guiding coalition then should set the SMART goals. Identify two to five specific objectives that describe sustainable success for the organization with exact measurements and timelines for their realization. Again, the categories of people, process, and technology are useful to consider here.
  5. Evaluate stakeholder influences on success. Go back to the RACI matrix and consider each of the stakeholder groups again. At this stage, there will be a great deal more clarity around the change, which will help team members evaluate the influence of each stakeholder group. Indicate whether each group has low, medium, or high influence on the outcome of the change. A low rating would suggest little or no power to influence change. The support of such people isn’t needed; the change can happen without them. A medium rating suggests the group has power to influence success. These stakeholders are affected significantly by the proposed change. Finally, assign a high rating to those with a large influence on success. Their support will make or break the change effort. Consider interviews or surveys to help understand the degree to which each group can influence change. Use the data to evaluate each stakeholder group on a scale of positive or negative responses. This also provides a good sense for the work required in order to close gaps where any responses are more negative than positive.
  6. Create a code for change. In this phase, it’s time to develop a basic code of honor and conduct related to the change made. This process involves rounds of brainstorming to capture the types of behaviors that will support the change and those that get in the way. From there, the team should develop a short list of behaviors that are desired in the future. These statements should outline what it means to be part of the team supporting change. It also may be necessary to document how compliance with the behaviors will be judged. For each violation of the code, there needs to be a specific set of consequences. This measure is particularly important when it’s necessary to significantly change people’s values in order for the change to be successful and sustainable.
  7. Assess barriers and risks. Make a two-column matrix about the barriers and risks to sustainable transformation identified in the earlier steps. The left column itemizes the significant roadblocks.
  8. Develop actions to mitigate barriers and risks. For each of the left-column items, thoughtfully consider the best actions to mitigate them. Go back to the RACI matrix of stakeholders— remembering there can be subgroups—and add them to the right column with their associated mitigation actions. The majority of these will be related to some form of communication, but don’t fall into the trap of believing that good communication alone ensures success. (That said, failing to effectively communicate will doom the change effort to failure.) For each stakeholder classification, identify who specifically should be considered in the implementation of the mitigation actions. It is not uncommon to find that a single mitigation action can influence many different groups.
  9. Create a plan for implementing the sustainable change. Armed with the specific actions required to ensure sustainable success, create a work breakdown. Effective implementation plans should recognize that the nature of change is never a one-and-done effort. Remember that communication works best when delivered via multiple mediums and with multiple messages around common internal themes. Defining a clear objective statement, selecting the right team members to implement it, and bringing them together to brainstorm how to approach implementation are vital. Each action description should specify the task, responsible people, deadline, a method to capture status, and next steps for ongoing reviews and project management purposes.
  10. Deploy and institutionalize the sustainable change. At this stage, the guiding coalition and the SMART goals come back into play. As teams implement the many actions needed for the change to succeed, they must continually monitor and manage the process. It also is the guiding coalition’s job to uncover and quickly react to issues that are blocking progress. During the planning stage and initial weeks of implementation, the guiding coalition should meet weekly—or at least every other week—until the change initiative demonstrates maturity. Quarterly reviews are recommended until the transformation is fully institutionalized as the new way of doing things.

Make sure to update position descriptions to reflect the new state of business. In addition, performance appraisals, scorecards, and metrics must be aligned with the desired future state. Likewise, standard operating procedures and training materials should be updated to reflect the change state.

As with all transformation initiatives, remember to celebrate success. Rewarding the people involved demonstrates that they are valued by the organization and incentivizes these team members to own the change. When these steps are implemented effectively, employees will stick with it, thus making the transformation truly sustainable.

Ron Crabtree, CIRM, CSCP, SCOR-P, MLSSBB, is chief executive officer of MetaOps, a master MetaExpert, and an organizational transformation architect. He is the author or coauthor of five books about operational excellence and the online magazine at MetaOpsMagazine.com. Crabtree also teaches, presents, and consults. He may be contacted at rcrabtree@metaops.com.

To comment on this article, send a message to feedback@apics.org.

Tickets

$10.00 APICS-Milwaukee Members

$15.00 Non-Member Guests

$0.00 APICS-Milwaukee Student Members

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