Issues with sustaining the change

by Stephen Warrilow

"One thing that I am continually up against is keeping the momentum and motivation up through the change?"

The level of sustained energy and support of senior management (or lack of it) - bearing in mind John Kotter's maxim that 70% of management need to be on board and actively in support ? is a major factor in sustaining momentum. In this context, senior management support needs to address the conflicts and politics- see:

Conflict Resolution Tips

Secondly, the extent to which the informal organisation has been involved AND their first line management/supervisors are involved - those of people who work in the "frontline".

In my experience - the frontline people nearly always have the leverage and the power to block things and the solutions - the key to this is approaching them the right way, asking the right questions, and keeping them continuously involved throughout all aspects and stages of the change process.

UK change practitioner Neil Farmer of Informal Networks has a superb track record of delivery (5 major corporate change programmes back-to-back) using the informal side of the organisation. Take a look at the sections on this on the link below and check out some of the many resource links on working with the informal organisation (many reference to Neil's site and publications):

Resistance To Change

"In the healthcare sector, I find that staff are simply exhausted with the dizzying pace of change and resource cutbacks? and the suffering economy. It's not that staff do not WANT to engage; but rather, they feel over-saturated with increasing and competing demands. Their buckets are empty!?"

I have no easy answers for this, but to be constructive it may be worth taking a look at this material on "Change Readiness Assessments" - see:

Change Management Readiness Assessment

And also taking a look at what is involved in creating a "culture of readiness for change" and the very specific leadership qualities that are needed to bring this about - see:

Leadership Qualitites

"A tool to help managers maintain the momentum once the change has begun. E.g. not losing sight of the vision, and maintaining the sense of urgency that will see the change implemented."

The first thing that immediately springs to mind for keeping people focused on the big picture and ensuring clear visible metrics on performance is having a clear benefit management strategy in place as per attached summary.

The page covering this on this site is here:

Benefits Of Change Management

"People have 'change fatigue', they feel like they never get a chance to bed down one thing, but they are already on to the next. The organisation rarely says no to an opportunity and then struggles to prioritise. Our challenge is very much about managing change driven by rapid growth and expansion."

It feels to me as though what you are describing is an organisation that needs to undertake some form of "Change Readiness Assessments" - see:

Change Management Readiness Assessment

Also it sounds as though the organisation need to develop a "culture of readiness for change" and this requires very specific leadership qualities - see:

Leadership Qualitites

However, to bring this about you really do need top-level support and sponsorship.

One possible way to enlist that top level support is to identify some very specific, tangible and financial benefits that would arise if this happened, and to also identify some very some very specific, tangible and financial risks, threats and exposures (especially to senior executives) if this doesn't happen.

To read related articles, return to: "This is what you told me"

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