What is the biggest issue re implementing change?

by Kington Seymour
(Exeter, UK)

Obviously there are many factors working against a successful implementation of any business project or initiative that contains a significant change element.

So what is the biggest issue re implementing change? And how do you overcome it?

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Translating vision & strategy into actionable steps
by: Stephen Warrilow

Obviously there are many factors working against a successful implementation of any business project or initiative that contains a significant change element. In fact, there is a 70% chance of the initiative not achieving what was originally envisaged.

So what is the biggest issue re implementing change? And how do you overcome it?

This all boils down to: translating vision and strategy into actionable steps.

In this current environment the restructuring, refocusing and re-engineering is only the start.

As business leader, you now face the equally if not more difficult challenge of getting the staff to deliver your new vision and achieve the revenue forecasts.

People are very different in the ways they process information, interpret life, and in the ways they are motivated.

Many (probably most) of them are not able to make the leap from hearing and understanding your vision and strategy to translating that into purposeful productive action.

This does not mean that they don't understand it, or agree with it, but it does simply mean that the leap is too great for most people to make - without practical assistance. But, most people are capable of doing extra-ordinary things when they are motivated to do so.

At the macro level the root cause of this is lack of clarity and lack of communication about the people aspects of how to manage change - and even more fundamentally - the lack of a language and contextual framework to articulate and manage the necessary processes of change that will work for people.

At this level, a major part of the solution to this lies in employing a programme management approach to change - because:

(1) It is holistic and takes a wider perspective.

(2) It focuses you on addressing issues and aspects that otherwise get overlooked.

(3) It addresses the people impacts and issues arising as a direct and indirect result of your change initiative.

At the micro level, delivering a strategy and changing a culture requires hands-on detailed management - micro management on occasions - in the specifics of how to do it - especially during the early stages.

So at this operational level people need to be enabled and supported to develop the capabilities to deliver your strategy and become what you want them to become [or as close to that as is realistically possible].

Here are 3 very good places to start:

(1) Clarifying decision-making around return - this includes factoring in risk assessment and mitigation [as well as opportunity] to quantify outcomes and the likelihood of outcomes.

(2) "Grinding out" in practical, manageable detail exactly what the high level strategy/vision/values things actually mean for the "troops" in action - the specific actionable steps.

(3) Establishing the clear linkages and connections between vision -> senior management decisions->task-level implementation -> and results: in the delivery of the strategy.











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