The hard part of change management is that you can't force commitment; people have to take that leap on their own, even when their natural instincts scream at them to resist. CIOs can help guide people through change by expecting resistance, even inviting discussion and dissent, to express these doubts and direct negative emotions to positive emotions. If you feel that people are still not listening, try to improve your communications. You don't need to be dry and direct: metaphors, analogies, narrative techniques and anecdotes go a long way in describing the vision you're trying to convey.
The most important thing is that communication is not an isolated event, but rather a strategy that permeates the entire initiative for change.
Effective IT change managementis what separates IT organizations that will succeed in the future and those that won't. That's why some IT teams now anticipate the needs of stakeholders instead of simply responding to them; they help reshape the business strategy rather than just supporting it; and they consult on business process improvements rather than just offering system updates. Economic recessions and tougher conditions (or lack of funding) can also be addressed through effective change management.
Having a fair, methodical and timely process for managing change can at least ensure that everyone involved is treated respectfully and has the opportunity to participate in the process. The first rule of change management is to plan the management of issues related to the people involved in the change, long before the change is implemented. Identifying obstacles involves evaluating which groups will be most affected and how many changes they will have to endure in a variety of categories, such as skills and processes. They need to convincingly convey the reasons for the change, paint a vivid picture of the final state and describe how to achieve it.
People don't commit to “a good idea”, but they need to understand why change is necessary and why the current state is no longer viable. Poorly planned, executed and delivered change processes can have the opposite effect than expected. From there, you can determine the risk areas for the change initiative and develop a risk mitigation strategy. Meanwhile, IT is at the heart of crucial business change, whether it's growth in emerging markets, the need for more agile business models, or a greater reliance on collaborative teams scattered around the world.
Using an independent change expert to manage the process can also make the process more effective. Change also requires training, guidance and feedback, as well as opportunities to practice and learn. From experience, both in the field of human resources and in my work as a professional coach who works with people who are going through changes in the workplace, I can say that these 4 C's are truly essential to achieving success in managing change: Communication, Commitment, Compliance and Culture. Communication is key when it comes to managing change; it's important for CIOs to be able to effectively communicate their vision for change so that everyone involved understands why it's necessary and how it will benefit them.
Commitment is also essential; people need to be willing to take ownership of the changes being implemented in order for them to be successful. Compliance with relevant legislation is also important; changes must be aligned with both organizational strategy and culture in order for them to be successful. Finally, culture plays an important role in successful change management; many organizations offer free and independent employee assistance including counseling sessions for affected staff during periods of change. In addition to these 4 C's of Change Management, it's important for CIOs to identify opinion leaders who can make or break a change effort due to their influence on other people.
Having an independent change expert manage the process can also make it more effective by ensuring compliance with relevant legislation as well as providing training, guidance and feedback opportunities for those involved.