Great change can precede great results, but there are no shortcuts to the finish line.
Is your organization planning a business transformation involving a complete overhaul of your operations? If so, you must have a clear roadmap in place.
One of the most important parts of this roadmap is organizational change management (OCM). This is a practice that ensures your employees are equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to embrace change.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at why change management plays such a critical role in business transformation.
What is Business Transformation?
Business transformation refers to any organization-wide initiative that entails using digital technologies and capabilities to create new digital business models. These shifts can be done to make a company more competitive, position it for a new market, improve efficiencies or a host of other reasons.
From Netflix and Adobe to Amazon and Microsoft, many of the top global companies have undergone transformations in the past few years. In all of these cases, there was a seismic shift in each company’s organizational culture, and their success hinged on changing that culture.
Ultimately, business transformation results in organization-wide changes to processes, technology and culture. This is in contrast to ERP implementations and ERP upgrades, which are often smaller in scale and only impact certain departments.
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Why is OCM Essential to Business Transformation Success?
It’s all too common for employees to hold tight to what’s familiar and resist new ideas. This is true even if these ideas have the potential to make their workday easier.
That said, a business transformation cannot succeed without change management. Your workforce is the backbone of your company. If your employees are not on board with the changes you’re implementing, it won’t matter how sophisticated the technology is or how efficient the new processes are. Without engaged and empowered staff using new tools, your investment could fail to deliver expected results.
How to Use OCM to Ensure Business Transformation Success
1. Assemble a Change Management Team
Before you begin your transformation project, we recommend taking time to assemble a group of people that can lead your change management efforts. This might include team leaders, department heads and other staff members. Look for employees who are visible, respected and great communicators.
For additional guidance and project team support, you can engage change management consultants.
2. Conduct Readiness Assessments
There are many types of readiness assessments. One of the most essential is a business readiness assessment. This assessment helps you gauge how prepared your workforce is for an impending change. Do you have the resources required to adequately support the change? What are the potential risks and red flags?
This analysis usually involves taking a deep dive into the foundation of your organization. It is best prepared by a third party with an unbiased viewpoint.
A few of the major questions answered in the assessment include:
- What are the goals and objectives of the project?
- Who is governing the project and making the decisions?
- Is there executive buy-in and leadership support?
- Have change initiatives succeeded in the past?
- What is the organizational culture?
The answers to these questions can help you more clearly understand if you’re prepared for a business transformation. Sometimes, you may find that a little more work needs to take place before you begin.
3. Develop a Communication Plan
A solid communication plan can help your change management team relay important messages to employees. A communication plan outlines who should deliver each message, when they should do so and what kind of feedback they should look for.
Effective change management communication ensures there is no mystery around the project. Mystery can breed hesitancy and change resistance.
4. Focus on Employee Training
A knowledgeable workforce is less likely to resist a business transformation than one that feels like they were thrown to the wolves without support.
Do your team members feel as though they’re expected to learn on the job without any formal end-user training? If so, they’re liable to revert to their former processes.
When outlining your project timeline, be sure to reserve plenty of time to help users understand how the new systems and processes work.
5. Focus on Resistance Management
It doesn’t help to assume that employee resistance won’t happen. Instead, expect it will occur and take proactive steps to manage it before it snowballs.
Resistance management is the process of planning how your team will respond to employees’ hesitancy or outright refusal to use new processes or technology. It involves identifying likely barriers and establishing steps to work through them. Your readiness assessment can play an important role in this step.
6. Reinforce Change Post Go-live
Once your new ERP system (or other digital technology) goes live, it’s important to analyze how well it’s being received by your company. What is the employee adoption rate? Are people complying with the new workflows and processes?
Uncovering these change management metrics can help you identify any areas that need change reinforcement. This way, you can take necessary measures to address concerns and mitigate future resistance.
Change Management is Vital to Business Transformation
A successful business transformation can help breathe new life into your company. It can make you a stronger competitor in the marketplace, lead to new efficiencies and position your organization for long-term success. However, without organization change management, all of these efforts could be thrown off course.
To learn more about change management, contact us by requesting a free consultation below.