What recommendations would you give for a manager to lead the change process and then sustain the changes in an organization?
Leading transformational change is far more challenging than managing a typical large project. The process complexities, human dynamics, and need for ongoing course correction call for unique change leadership knowledge and skills.
Too often, we see organizations initiating major changes without proper leadership, sometimes even without adequate sponsorship. Executives often choose the wrong type of person to orchestrate the change, someone who does not understand the unique dynamics of transformation, lacks the needed awareness and behaviors, or does not possess the tools and strategies needed to mobilize people to accomplish the change effort's results.
We frequently see a person selected as project lead because of their project management skills, but project management does not suffice for transformation even though it is often adequate for other less complex types of change. We also see people from staff positions named as the change process leader-typically from human resources-yet staff people often lack sufficient clout with line leaders to successfully lead enterprise-wide efforts. Sometimes, a leader is selected because they simply happen to be free at the moment, and everyone else is "too busy" to fill this role. We also see the scenario of a strong line person being named, but this responsibility is added on top of her or his normal duties, and no extra time is made. Or, this person may know the business inside and out, but have inadequate people skills to succeed. Ouch. None of these approaches work. The change process leader job is too big, too important, and frankly, too unique in its requirements. It takes a special person.
The change process leader, in alignment with the sponsor, is responsible for delivering the desired business AND human results from the change. This person is in charge of building the overall change strategy, as well as designing AND implementing the change process, including scoping, planning, overseeing, and course correcting the transformation as it rolls out.
In designing the key activities of the change process, the change process leader ensures that the vision and case for change are developed and communicated, change infrastructures and resources are secured, the executives and workforce are capable and ready to make the change, and that the best future state solution is designed and prepared for an optimal roll out. The change process leader also ensures effective communications, employee engagement, and full alignment of the change with the existing organization and its ongoing operations.
Project integration is a critical ...