by Sarah Deloughery
How can we achieve successful organizational change management?
Lots of organizations are struggling to keep up with technology at its current pace. On top of this, the adoption of new technology by employees within enterprises has historically been challenging.
Adopting new technologies often isn’t realized as intended. This is because of the top-down management approach, where new technology has been decided upon from an economical perspective, but the user and user adoption have not been considered.
The lack of user involvement throughout both the decision-making and implementation process can have big consequences whereas involving the users can add great value. Some of the benefits and values that companies can gain with user focused change management are: Creating awareness, understanding and ownership of the new technology, creating employee empowerment and creating space for knowledge sharing.
With the top-down approach, the experience often becomes negative from a user perspective.
Let’s face it – nobody really likes being told what to do, but understanding the “why” of the way we do things, will create a better understanding and a better user adoption.
For change management to fully succeed, there are a number of areas that we need to focus on:
- Transparency & awareness
- Inclusion of users throughout the whole process
- Co-design experiences
- Positive experiences
- Feedback & iterations
- Smaller implementations
- Suitable training and easy to understand training material
How do we create successful Change Management?
By using Design Thinking as an approach to guide the process, you can use design methods to research, develop and introduce the change into the organization and also to get the right vision and guide the team, communicate and empower action, and implement and sustain the change within the organization.
But first things first. One must have a clear vision, strategy and goal. The costs of setting off on the wrong transformation journey are substantial, so before worrying about how to change, we need to understand what to change—in particular, what to change first. At 2BM, we recommend using Design Thinking as an approach to find the underlying problem.
Specifically, we work with a user-centric and team-based approach to develop, integrate, and innovate people, technology and the business. Based on the user and your organizational challenges, our Design Thinking process starts by assembling a multi-disciplinary team that combines a group of experts with employees and users across your business creating a co-design experience. We help to define and understand your challenges, ideate on possible solutions, create prototypes and validate the best solutions for your challenges, making room for iterations and changes.
With a transparent and agile approach, we build the solution in close collaboration with the organization – creating a solution that has the user experience in top focus – making training easy and implementation smooth.
We encourage that the users should be included throughout the entire project as research shows that transparency and user involvement creates higher chances of successful change management in organizations. We applaud the idea of starting with a handful of processes and implementing them in iterations – one process at a time. This will also allow us to listen to the user feedback and take this into consideration in the following processes, insuring progressive solutions.
Want to know more about Change Management?
John Kotter is the king of change – at least in my opinion. I have collected a few books and articles that I think are worth a read both by the king and by others:
The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations, by John Kotter and Dan Cohen
Leading Change, by John Kotter
The Real Reason People Won’t Change, by Robert Kegan & Lisa
What Everyone Gets Wrong About Change Management, by N. Anand and Jean-Louis Barsoux
Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, by Tim Brown
Since 2012, Sarah has worked in different areas of the design field and holds a Master’s Degree in Design Management.