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31 Jan 2016

Change success criteria

by Melanie Franklin

As a panellist at a recent event I was asked to share my views on what makes successful change.  My ideas are a reflection on the questions posed by delegates on my change management courses who provide a rolling summary of the challenges and where they need most support.

1. Everyone needs to change

Change can only be successful if everyone takes the decision to participate. Change is not achieved by senior leaders deciding what needs to be different. It comes from all staff making a personal commitment to change their ways of working, however small scale those changes need to be. A large-scale IT replacement project or the adoption of new regulatory guidelines only happens if those impacted actually change what they do, how they do it, who they do it with or when they do it!

2. Change is emotional

We need to recognise that the scope of our work is not only to build the rational case for change. We need to build the emotional case for change. Everyone that is impacted by the change needs to be able to identify fur themselves what the change will mean for them. They need to be able to see the possibilities and they need to feel excited by the potential that the change offers. So

3. Methods and tools are valuable

As change practitioners what we have to concentrate on implementing is not the change itself but the process, tools and techniques for enabling change to happen. We need to build an environment and establish methods fur those impacted by the required changes to devise the solutions fur themselves. Otherwise it is imposed change which never succeeds as those affected spend their energies pointing out why the solution is the wrong one, simply because it was not their idea.

4. Measure participation

The creation of the processes and tools to enable change must include processes for tracking the acceptance of the change and the level of participation in it. We have a lot to learn from the world of digital marketing where there are many innovative ways of tracking if consumers are responding to advertising messages. Are we tracking how many people are attending presentations, participating in workshops, downloading documents etc and are we seeing these numbers grow over time?

What do you think are the key criteria fur successful change. Get in touch and share your views.

Melanie Franklin
31st January 2016