Chances are, you’ve heard the phrase thrown around in business circles, but just what is organizational change management, or OCM? This is a structured approach to managing changes and transitions in organizational settings in order to minimize risks, inconveniences, and other negative effects to the people in the business.
Whether the change is cultural or structural, the impact can potentially be negative if the attitudes of the stakeholders within the enterprise are not taken into consideration.
Benefits of Organizational Change Management
And why is it so important? It’s about attitude, and perhaps more importantly, it’s about how attitude affects the capability to adopt changes and grow with them. Most organizational changes require people to train and learn new skills and behaviors, which is going to be rough without an on-board attitude from all those involved. Managing change without getting everyone on board first can be a recipe for disaster.
Organizational change management is all about doing the planning, assessing the teams and individuals, and using all the tools at your disposal to remain proactive and communicate clearly every step of the way. If your enterprise is planning any sort of change in the near future, keep reading to learn more about why you need OCM in your transitional framework.
What Successful OCM Looks Like
One of the keys to achieving successful organizational change management is reducing the possibility of incorrect information spreading throughout the company, which can greatly lower morale and prevent stakeholder buy-in. At the end of the day, it’s about strong leadership, as opposed to mere management. Leading by example and being available to communicate are both signs of a strong executive project management team during a significant organizational transition.
With a more positive, communicative and proactive approach, all stakeholders should be willing to stick with the change even when there are some slight inconveniences and discomforts along the way. Here are a few of the most important components of an effective change management framework:
- A consistent vision for how to achieve the change in question
- Clear lines of communication throughout the project lifecycle
- Decisive leadership committed to supporting the change
- Incentives for adopting and embracing the change among individuals and groups
- Training programs to inform people how their routine is going to be affected
- Strategies for assessing the success of the campaign and making adjustments as necessary
Models for Organizational Change Management
There are many models for organizational change management, including the Denial-Resistance-Exploration-Commitment Model, the Performance Dip Model, and the Transitions Model.
The DREC Model acknowledges that individuals and teams may go through many stages during a serious organizational transition, and addresses the effects it may have on performance levels.
The Performance Dip Model describes the occurrence of inefficiencies resulting from changes in the structure of an enterprise, even when the changes were designed to make things more efficient. In cases such as these, it’s important to minimize the performance dip as quickly as possible, keep the period of performance dip as short as possible, and get on track for improved performance once the project is complete.
And finally, the Transitions Model is basically a model for getting the individuals and teams within an enterprise from one state to another, more desirable future state as smoothly as possible, with minimal negative impact. At first, people must let go of their reservations. Then, they often remain neutral throughout the transitional phase. In the end, a new beginning is achieved in a positive light, preferably more quickly rather than slowly.
Why You Need Organizational Change Management
So what is organizational change management and why do you need it? Enterprises often pour tons of money into making changes in an effort to cut costs and be more efficient, but if key people aren’t on board and willing to support the changes, the process could cost more than it saves in the end. Effective OCM strategies provide a framework for transitioning from Point A to Point B as smoothly as possible and with minimal impact to the bottom line, but they also offer much more than that.
These research-based strategies focus on understanding the change and thus ensure compliance, mitigate risk, and create an air of positivity that keeps morale and productivity high among all the influential stakeholders whose buy-in is necessary for a successful transition, all while the appropriate strategies to address change are put into effect. Fortunately, enterprises don’t have to go it alone. Experienced consultants can help create an environment for a seamless transition and positive outcome once the project is complete.