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Business & ICT Trends, Applied to Your Organisation

Change management is much overrated

Posted on August 1st, 2012 by TimClaes

Change Management is much overrated… but oh so important!

 

1. Overrated…

When you start digging into ‘change management’ literature, you will find multiple theories and many complex models on how to deal with change. It almost looks like experts want you to be afraid to start kicking off change management programs yourself. So that you hire them to deliver expensive consultancy services. Why make it so complex?

2. But so important…

We all know – by nature – that people are resistent to change and that a change management process takes time during which people go through different states of mind. On the other hand I’m also a strong believer of the statement: “Change is the only constant”. So we better find a way to deal with change in an effective and efficient way. It is not the strongest that succeed, but the one most responsive to change.

3. In practice… 2 easy guidelines!

First of all… communicate. Always communicate in a transparent, concise and respectful way about the progress you’re making. Secondly communicate on a regular basis in a timely fashion. People understand that change could have an impact on their daily tasks, but not knowing what will be coming is the worst fear for all. So on a regular basis people need to get updated. Getting out the right message is often limited in time in order to get the right involvement of people.

In practice I typically use the following 2 pictures to help me with change management challenges. The first picture makes a distinction between willing to change and the ability to change. Primarily you need to focus in your communication on WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) before you start explaining how you will be able to learn the new way of working.

The second picture I like to use is a kind of detailed communication plan where I try to consolidate all the different communication touch points over time to different groups of people in 1 easy overview – typically in line with the implementation methodology you use within your organization.

 

 

This helps me to remember when I should be communicating what kind of information to which target groups of people. You should try it yourself. You will see it is quite easy to adjust to your own needs. So no more expensive external consultancy needed!

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First who, then what – It’s all about people!

 

No matter which initiative you want to start within your organization (or across organizations for that matter) first gather the people around you and only then start discussing the content. Because in the end it is all about people! And more especially about individuals that make a difference.

Each business and ICT Trend you want to apply to your organization needs to be carried out by people who believe in it, that are able to deliver it and that are actively supported by your organization.

But how do you recognize someone is fit for the job?

Three rules of thumb you can apply:

1. Listen to the passion of the person. How eager is the individual to be part of the plan? Is he ‘begging’ for it, or is he thinking in conditional terms and “only if… then…” scenario’s. Everyone has a passion and has a talent. The art however is to un-cover these talents with your people and to bring them to their full potential. But sometimes people are also still trying to find out for themselves what their talents really are. And it is not always that easy – as a manager – to guide a person in this “self-assessment”. It tells a lot about people, and also about their strengths and weaknesses.

2. Does the passion of the person fit with your mission statement, but more importantly with the mindset of your organization/department? Where do you stand for? What kind of people do you want to attract? Who do you want to put in the spotlights? What makes your organization special? Or how do you want to be perceived in the market?

3. The basic competences must be in place. Typically each organization has its own set of core values or has a ’credo’ that describes what is of high value for them. Some examples are: Respect, teamplay, action oriented, professionalism, professional courtesy, … 

So don’t start off initiatives with people who do not fit with these 3 rules of thumb, because sooner or later issues will arise. Sometimes it is better to let the best persons go, because in the long run they will withhold the growth of your organization.

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Will social media stimulate open innovation?

Posted on May 30th, 2011 by TimClaes

When will social media finally boost open innovation initiatives?

 

1. Importance of innovation

 

I strongly believe in the statement “It is not the strongest that survive, but the ones most responsive to change“, also in a business context. Having said that, innovation is one way of bringing change in the organization. As such innovation becomes an important part of any business strategy, especially open innovation.

2. How to integrate innovation into your organization?

 

In order for innovation to become truely an integrated part of your organization it needs to be part of your culture, only then you will be able to deliver continuous business innovation. This is easier said then done. A lot of change management needs to be done, but at the same time you – as an organization – need to make clear what you stand for, not only by your mission statement, but also by your mission mindset. What do you believe – as an organization – are your core values and why should your employees be willing to work for your organization/department?

3. Moving to open innovation

 

And if you take it one step further and start to innovate, not only across departments, but also across multiple organizations, you can start talking about open innovation. It truely opens a whole new world of possibilities. Sharing ideas and talking to people in other industries. Never expected this could be so exciting until I’ve met Jef Staes and the Engine of Innovation Academy. (thanks, Jef!)

4. Social media as accelerator?

 

But how can you share ideas with people from other organizations? How do you get connected to these people of other industries? This is where the current social media tools come in the play. All the technologies are in place to make this happen: twitter, linkedin groups, facebook, … you name it. But until now I see these social media tools as “one-off” information sharing environments and less as “interactive” information building environments. And this is what you really need when you want to start open innovation initiatives. So we still have a way to go… but that’s ok, we will get there!

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