Issue No. 58 - April/May 2011
How to beat workforce ‘change’
by Linda Chaousis
Our iPad, iPod, smartphone, hotspot-driven world has trained us to expect answers quickly. Through social media we can voice our opinions instantly to a global audience. We get information on demand.
Unfortunately, not everything moves as fast as it does in our wireless, 3G world. How do we keep the momentum going for drawn out change projects when we live in a world of instant answers and solutions?
Many change initiatives in organisations are measured in months and years. Answers to important questions aren’t always readily available. Information flow at times seems clogged. Sometimes the direction we’re supposed to take is not clear or keeps changing - hardly the recipe for long-term engagement.
Restructure, a change of service delivery model, a merger with another organisation or significant change to internal processes - often combined with the introduction of new software - are common change projects.
All of them are long-term undertakings with big winners and big losers. Most are competing with other high organisational priorities and subject to a volatile external environment.
Regardless of whether the change was greeted with excitement, fear or eye-rolling ‘change fatigue’, it’s likely at some point in implementation the momentum will slow down and the project will seem to have slipped off the radar.
The much promised on-going communication updates and forums for discussion may lose steam. The leaders may seem to have turned their attention to the next big change,...