Webinar Notes: Change Management Done Right

Webinar Notes: Change Management Done Right

This week’s webinar notes are from a Sourcing Interests Group webinar on Change Management Done Right. In this webinar, two speakers from Jones Lang Lasalle (Michael Jordan, Leila Lance) and the Former Head Sustainability for KeyBank (Jessica White) will discuss how KeyBank used change management practices to develop and implement a robust sustainability program.

It is easy to agree on the need for change management, but it is hard to successfully execute a program that depends on it. In fact, change management is rarely attempted for its own sake. Instead, it is relied upon as a solution in any number of other initiatives: M&A, risk management, outsourcing, or moving to a shared services model.

According to a 2011 Standish Group Chaos Study cited in the webinar, two thirds of all change initiatives fail to achieve desired results. What is more, I believe that failed initiatives breed more of the same. Jordan spoke about the up front planning work required to start what he called a “virtuous cycle”. This planning involves identifying all stakeholder groups and then connecting with them through a value proposition that resonates with them.

If the objectives of an initiative represent an advantage for the organization, why is change management so hard? Why do these efforts incur so much resistance? Lance, a change management industry leader, discussed the natural curve that people go through when faced with change.

  1. Awareness
  2. Understanding
  3. Acceptance
  4. Commitment

Trying to shortcut from Awareness to Commitment – leaving out the time for Understanding and Acceptance – breaks this process and leads to firm resistance, slower progress, and diminished potential. During Understanding and Acceptance the people who will be affected by the change test out new ideas and internalize them. While it may be natural, it also brings with it a performance dip that can be managed or minimized but not avoided altogether.

KeyBank’s initiative to implement a sustainability program was successful due, in part, to their understanding that enterprise-wide change needs to be made personal in order to gain traction on an individual level. Their categories of return, cost savings, revenue, and brand, were captured in a business plan that incorporated the findings of surveys and in person meetings with stakeholder groups.

Messaging and communications are key, as they make it possible to win over the hearts and minds of those affected and allow for connection with values and projects already underway. After each stakeholder meeting, the KeyBank sustainability team would absorb what had been learned and refresh their message and business case before approaching a new stakeholder group.

The concluding recommendations shared in the event were:

  • Understand and articulate the reasons for resistance in each stakeholder group and address them independently.
  • Expect, minimize, and plan for a dip in productivity during the change process
  • Quantify the business case, but be sure to win over hearts as well as minds

Do you recognize the change management needs in every project underway in your organization? Join the conversation by commenting below or on Twitter @BuyersMeetPoint.

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