What are the key links between an agile organisation and change maturity?

Being an agile organisation nowadays can mean one of two things. The Project methodology you are using is 'Agile', OR your organisation is able to respond to change FAST. In this article we are focusing on the latter - the connection between enterprise change maturity and the ability to respond to change.

The Oxford definition is the 'ability to move quickly and easily'. This term has become very popular in organisations due the constant time pressure that they were under to deliver. Building change agility is an outcome of building change capability. Here are some key correlations between Change agility and enterprise change maturity and examples of where these have come to life:

1) Having cross disciplined teams delivering change on a regular basis makes the difference when urgency is needed. There was no better example of this than how well any organisation responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.  During COVID I watched team members who had worked together on a flexible working...

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Who is the best voice of a change?

When it comes to change, who the voice of the change should be can be one key element which is misunderstood or misaligned. It is a myth that the most powerful voice in an organisation is a CEO - especially when it comes to change. In fact there are numerous studies run in the world of change which show middle management are the layer of leadership who matter most if you want your transformation to be successful.

Now that isn't to undermine the ultimate power that a CEO has, but any leader at that level will know to engage their direct reports and then also to jump a layer or two to ensure their vision holds true when they are intending to transform an organisation.

Why?

All employees take direction from the leader we report into. They hold the power and you rely on them for guidance, leadership and inspiration. We follow what our direct leader tells us, we watch what they do and follow their direction. That is why middle management holds more power in this equation than a CEO of...

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Strategy and Change - how to bring your strategy to life..

The strategy is signed off, and the launch of your new strategy is here. Presentation ready, maybe an engaging video showing mountain peaks, with climbers putting the flag on the top of the hill. The scene is set. When all goes well, there is a buzz of anticipation is in the air, excitement at a new direction and possibility. A feeling of hope is all pervasive.

And then....

Cut to the team members returning to their desk. Reactions will range from cynicism 'same thing different pictures' to enthusiasm 'I can see how this will be really good'. But what makes the difference? What will give the strategy the best chance to become operational? What will generate the tipping point needed for the strategy to be given the best chance possible?

Here are five things to focus on to operationalise your strategy:

1) Your leaders need to engage with it, understand it and translate it into operational change: one of the most laughable statements I have heard was from a Strategy team member, who...

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Digital change and transformation - the do's and don't's

Technology change is one of the reason's that the disciplines of project management and change management exist in the first place. And what we mean by that is that technology failures are the reason why both disciplines are in place. Both the project discipline and the change discipline have been changing and adjusting to the growing realisation that bridges need to be built between technology delivery areas and business areas. Agile ways of working were a blend of discipline at speed. Yet there continue to be tech failures delivered and remediated. Why? Well if you have worked on or experienced poorly designed and delivered technology solutions, (as I have) then themes begin to appear.

Following are some key themes for you to reflect upon for your digital change and whether these are being approached in the right way. Here are some 'Must DO's': 

1) Be sure to explore the problem enough, before deciding technology is the solution. Many, many times, there is a shiny piece...

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Change chats with Therese - The Change Ecosystem

 

In this Episode of Change chats we cover the various elements of the Change Ecosystem. Your organisations ability to be change agile and have any change efforts be effective are impacted by some key functions across an organisation. Like any ecosystem it is important for all areas to co-exist in a healthy way.

Watch the video and reflect on where your organisation is up to.

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When changing your organisation's structure don't do this!

When operating models change, new reporting lines, possible impacts to people's roles and the re-allocation of workload, there is no greater impact to an organisation and its people. One would hope that the changes are well informed, and that a transformation specialist is involved. When they aren't, the changes can take years for an organisation to recover from. Employees and leaders become disillusioned and disengaged.   

I have worked on many operating model changes and every time I have undertaken them I have never taken lightly the impact on individuals and their welfare. I have both worked on those transformations and also been impacted by those transformations and boy oh boy! When not handled well it is nothing short of toxic inefficiency. So from both perspectives, make sure that you and your organisation don't do any of the following next time there is a restructure:

1) Don't sit in fear about communicating

There will be times when you or the leaders will be...

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Why is change management important?

Here at myvirtualchangemanager we say that 'change matters because your people matter'. And yet that is not enough when it comes to business. In reality most organisations focus on financials, economics and the link between people and those aspects is tenuous. The focus on business drivers often misses the mark when it comes to key people drivers. The reality is that talent attraction and retention, which are key contributors to an organisation success is a positive people outcome when change is well managed from strategic inputs into operational implementations. Yet that still seems like it is not enough, so exactly what is? What will have executive's listen and invest in change?

So why would I say that change is important?

Consider it in this way. I can exercise, take myself to the gym and eat better and I will achieve some degree of success. If I hired a personal trainer or coach to help me to focus and utilise their expertise appropriately I will achieve 2-3 times more success...

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Change Chats with Therese - Change Impact Assessments

Come and find out some of the most practical guidance on how to approach a change impact assessment. Making sure that it is accurate and comprehensive. Not all change is equal so assessing the impacts accurately is important, and there are a number of tips from years of experience and lessons learned. 

 

Want to assess the impacts of a change you are managing, leading or involved with? Try our free change impact assessment tool.

 

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How to assess impacts of a change accurately

It doesn't matter what type of change you are working on, the key to putting together the right change plan is to understand the change impacts.  Now if you are a change practitioner how well you approach this, the better your change plan will be. But how do you make sure that what you have captured is accurate?

Well, here are the four tips for you to consider:

1) Be sure to assess ALL of the aspects of the change. Approach this analysis like a pro by asking about all aspects which are changing. Even if it is to confirm what ISN'T changing. For example at Myvirtualchangemanager we ask about 6 areas: Process, Policy, Technology, People, Products/Services, Physical Environment. The more aspects that are changing, the greater the impact.

2) Ask five ways. Have you heard about the 5 Why model when it comes to analysing a problem. Well I embody an insatiable curiosity when it comes to analysing a change. Never take what someone says at face value but be curious. I often ask follow...

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How to stay motivated when change resistance is high

Some days are brighter than others when you are responsible for leading a change or managing a change. Every day is not a bed of roses, easy to get plans approved, sponsors on board, time with leaders. Some projects are easier than others. There are those where you might score a fantastic sponsor who works with you, listens and you collaborate on how to transform a department or organisation. Then there are those which are hard, and resistance is high. 

Some of the better ones that change managers LIKE to work on, (as resistance will often be low to non-existent):

  • New incentive programs where staff are offered more.
  • Creative culture design programs where you work with organisations to design the culture they want and you play a role in bringing it to life.
  • New products or processes that really see a tangible benefit to customers and allow for upskilling teams as well.

And then there are the changes that are not so exciting where resistance is high, however they are changes...

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When the Change overview is ready we will send it out. If you want to know the basics of change, then look no further.