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Hierarchy (noun): “a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.”

Think about it when it comes to royalty. It’s like a pecking order. The King or Queen make the decisions and then everyone “under” them will follow suit.

Change starts at the top, and in today’s world it is coming faster than ever. For a company to gain and remain successful, you have to be nimble and constantly be looking toward the horizon of innovation. Unfortunately, as humans, we are (usually) resistant to change.

To quote Winston Churchill, “to improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” While no organization is perfect, every organization needs change. However, human nature is not synonymous with change. We all know this. This is especially true for established companies with a seasoned workforce. They don’t understand the value of shifting the ways of doing their jobs to coincide with the evolving needs of their customers.

This is where senior leadership needs to step in. Leaders must establish a workplace culture that not only embraces change, but also celebrates it. Their role is to push (in a positive way, of course) their employees out of their comfort zones and recognize that while change can be disruptive, it is 100% necessary. The key is: it must be managed properly.

While this may sound overwhelming, there is help. By applying organizational change management practices, the C-suite can “help employees move out of their comfort zones and safely into their discomfort zones” while safely avoiding their panic zone. The discomfort zone is where growth is enabled. This is where disruptive innovation is discovered and can become liberating for both employees and the company itself.

The “Discomfort Zone” takes three “P’s”:
Planning
Patience
Persuasion

The three of these are necessary for a successful ERP implementation. While the C-suite must initiate the change, it is imperative that employees are fully involved from the get-go. To have a comprehensive organizational readiness and communications plan means identifying the gaps that lead to the resistance. In turn, this will help with issues stemming from new ERP software. As you can see, this is a slippery slope, but a slippery slope that can be avoided.

Let’s go back to the hierarchy reference, every organization (of any kind, really) needs a leader. Business-wise, this typically stems from the C-suite; however, that isn’t always the case. By giving employees power from the beginning, they can help identify issues that could potentially paralyze a project. Leadership has many faces and it is up to you to find out who (can be multiple people) that may be.

Download “An Expert’s Guide to Organizational Change Management.”

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