I am often amazed by how some people believe change management really works. There are lots of check lists around, tick the boxes exercises, processes and flow charts. The assumption is a simplistic paradigm: if the solution is good for the business, it will be implemented and everyone will be happy ever after. We just follow the process.
In reality this seldom happens as … whilst on paper the technical solution and the process to follow to implement it may be spot on, from the human side of change it can be much more challenging. In fact, an individual may be reluctant to learn new technical skills, others may think that if the technical solution is implemented this will mean more work for them or that their job may be made redundant. Frequently the employees resit change because they don’t see the reason why the company has to change as things are going perfectly well as they are.
There is no magic bullet here. Some executives think that providing an answer on why the company needs to change, why it requires the new technological solution has to be based on numbers, projections, financial results.
In all honesty this is an aspect that the average individual in an organisation cares very little about. What the employee affected by change wants to know comes under the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) hat – e.g. What does this change mean for me as an employee? Will I still have a job? Will I be required to double my productivity if the new system is implemented? and so on.
You can see that this has very little to do with the financial side of the business or with the technical side of the solution: it has a lot with the human side instead.
This is one of the most important reasons why executives have to learn to speak the language of the employees: of course numbers are important for the shareholders, for the productivity of the company and also for the employees (bad performance means job losses).
But trying to explain why a technical solution is being introduced just by talking numbers and performance will result in frustration and resistance in those affected by those initiatives. Following the flow chart and tick the box are not enough when implementing change. If the executives don’t have the employees buy in they will not achieve their financial results.
Technical and human side of change have to be managed together, as well as developing emotional intelligence and people skills in the management of an organisation.