Embracing and building an Enterprise Change Management approach provides organizations with the agility and resilience needed to cope with the fast pace of change faced in all industries in today’s world.
Enterprise Change Management (ECM) is substantially more than just having a core change management capability within your organization. Through ECM, change becomes part of your organization’s DNA. It is an end-to-end, top to bottom approach to change management where the skills and knowledge to drive change are inherent in how you do business.
The risk of a project by project approach to change
Rather than apply change management on a project by project basis, taking an ECM approach gives your whole organization the skills and tools needed to implement successful change at a rapid pace.
One of the symptoms of inadequate change capability that we see across many organizations is the Value Gap. This is the difference of installation versus implementation.
We see this where projects deliver the required artifacts (e.g. a system, a process, an organizational restructure) but the organization fails to gain the anticipated benefits. If the organization (the people and the ways of working) has not changed in line with expectation then the organization will not reap the full benefits the project had forecast.
Now, multiply this failure to deliver expected benefits by all of the various types of projects your organization has going on at any one time. That is a significant amount of missed benefits.
Why does this happen? Simply put, most project teams do not have the necessary skills and tools to ensure that the people aspects of delivering a project are managed. And HR or OD teams are not large enough to be able to provide expert support across the full range of projects within an organization.
ECM closes this gap by ensuring that the skills and tools needed to implement successful change are embedded across the organization.
Enterprise Change Management is a holistic approach to change
ECM is the term used to describe the discipline and process of deploying change management up, down and across an organization; ensuring it can be applied to each project, and individuals have access to requisite skills to build their own personal change competency.
ECM is not just about training your staff in change management theory. It also encompasses practical skills, processes, systems, culture and leadership:
- A common change language that is used throughout the organization
- A shared set of change processes and tools that can be applied to different projects and in different parts of the organization
- Strong change leadership competency at all levels of the organization
- Role-based training and coaching to build and embed new skills and techniques
- An organizational mind-set that supports the effective implementation of strategic change and ensure change is considered up front, before projects are initiated.
The journey to ECM
Adopting Enterprise Change Management into your organization is not a quick fix, nor can you expect to get results overnight. Embarking on an ECM journey is a path of increasing the change maturity in your organization, and in the coming weeks we will be talking more about assessing your change maturity and how to start your ECM journey.
Reviewing change capabilities against a maturity model helps provide an understanding of the approach to change management. An organization achieves an ECM approach to change management when they are at level 3 and 4 of change management maturity.
It is at these highest maturity levels where an organization has developed
- A consistent approach to change management
- Change processes and tools which everyone can access as require and which have been built into other systems, tools and processes
- An application focus learning which is relevant to people’s roles in the change process, ensuring that people have the skills needed to work on real problems
- Coaching support to help people embed new skills and processes providing ongoing learning and development to fill skill gaps across the organization
- A leadership-led change approach; the C-Suite role in change with ECM is critical and ongoing and this leadership focus is cascaded down through the leadership layers of the organization.
The benefits of ECM are significant
Developing an Enterprise Change Management approach does take time but the benefits can start to be felt even in the early stages.
As the organization starts to use the same language to describe change, and a more consistent approach is used across different projects, the rates of change success will rise. The act of embarking on an ECM journey also brings change management to the forefront of people’s minds. The proactive, forward thinking (and forward planning), approach to the people aspects of implementing changes in the organization will start to become second nature.
When an organization moves into a more mature state then the benefits become common place:
- Time is not wasted “re-inventing the wheel” for each new project
- Continuous improvement of the approach, as well as the tools and training that support the approach
- Consistent application on all major projects
- Senior leaders are managing the overall change capability
- Rapid ramp up, the organization can cope with a 48hr ramp up window
- A resilient workforce that thrives in periods of rapid change.
To read more about Enterprise Change Management, the benefits and the approach, take a look at A C-suite Guide to Building Organizational Change Capability and ECM: Deploy Long Term, Stay Agile.
Download chapter 1 of Enterprise Change Management for free