Change Management a.k.a. Risk Management

Recently, I have had the opportunity to support the fabulous leaders at KnowledgePath Inc. They are amongst the best at bringing a full complement of solutions to you, especially in ERP Transformation. I have been working to augment their high-performance capabilities with a comprehensive array of Change Management and Leadership Development approaches. You should check out their website and fast array of services at http://knowledgepathinc.com/

Regarding Change Management, I have actually heard comments such as “that’s just the cushy stuff that is a waste of time…and money!” Who needs Change Management when you have shiny new technology or streamlined processes to solve your business woes? As an example, new more advanced ERP systems promise streamlined workflows, decreased manual workloads, increased efficiencies… this list goes on and on and on. Process Excellence promises many of the same results. Why then, do well planned and carefully executed projects so often fail?

Check this chart out that shows the relationship of successful projects and change management programming:

While there are many reasons and risk points that occur throughout the project,
there is one that must always be addressed for a project to experience success: Change Management. The workforce must undertake a fundamental shift from an old way of working to a new one. We often hear the words “sustainable”, “enduring”, “lasting” when an organization makes a strategic decision to invest in a technological or process advancement. The harsh reality is that you are at risk. At risk of minimally less ROI…or potentially total failure…due to the most
impactful asset you have becoming “unreliable”. That asset…the people, even the person, left to enact the change.

Without Change Management, or better said, Change Leadership, the new
technology will never be used to its best capabilities, if at all; processes will
revert to old habits, and the company will have wasted time, money and resources on something that was designed to save those very things.

To accomplish this shift effectively, organizations need to take a systematic, ideally incremental, and intentional approach. However, making the shift from
Working with a cumbersome, frustrating system to a newer, efficient one isn’t an easy task. A large part of this is that while real change may be observed at
the level of the organization once it is in place, the real change happens at the level – and pace – of the individual.

Simply stated, “change is not at the pace of the leader, it is at the pace…and
will…of the individual enacting the change!”

When an individual is respectfully communicated with and educated, the opportunity of buy – in with that individual goes up. The can make the choice. To be “on-board”, even to advocate to others. Add in a well-structured change management plan, and your chances of real change go up even higher. Without this plan in place, on the other hand, risk of a failed project increases quickly.
Not only will the workforce resist changing a new way to work, but there are many other hidden risk points. Morale will go down. Engagement will dilute.
Efficiency and productivity decreases as individuals spend more time commiserating with each other.
Absenteeism and turnover will increase. All of these issues are a hidden cost to a failed project; all of which can be reduced or even eliminated with the right change management program in place. To help you reduce this risk, we will be publishing a series of posts with points designed to help you GET On TRACK
with a successful Change – or Risk Management program.

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