Dealing with Change

changeChange is never easy and putting together a successful change management strategy can be even more difficult. Come to think of it, the concept itself seems an oxymoron—how do you manage change management?

Barbara Munyan Ardell, VP at Paladin Associates, Inc., underscored the sheer difficulty of organizational change efforts in a post for Checkmate Blog: “Research actually shows that somewhere between 66% and 85% of organization change efforts fail!”

She continues that “traditional change management focuses on Strategy, Systems, Process and Structure. While these are important, they are also insufficient. What typically sabotages change efforts is the organization’s underlying culture and status quo behaviors. These underlying issues need to be addressed as part of any successful change initiative.”

I agree! An organization might have the best cutting-edge systems and processes in place but all of that can go by the boards if there are few Junkyard Dogs roaming the halls, or Elephants in the Room that go unnoticed or unaddressed.

Ardell notes, “Each organization is different as is each change initiative. That means you must tailor the approach for every situation.”

This is why I’m convinced that a Vested approach for driving change has been so successful with companies like Dell and GENCO as they transform their business relationship.

Vested’s WIIFWe mindset of collaboration and trust provides the flexibility and transparency to handle the inevitable changes coming your way. A key tool we use in the Vested methodology is what we call a Statement of Intent. With a Statement of Intent the parties jointly and formally document their Shared Vision and how they will align their relationship. It sets out how everyone will work together by defining their intentions and behaviors that will or won’t be supported.

Legal scholars, economic and social theorists such as Ian R. Macneil and Oliver Williamson have shown that contract relationships can and should be instruments for change, cooperation, and preserving continuity in the face of change. As our Vested white papers, “Unpacking Collaboration Theory- What Every Negotiator Needs to Know” and “Unpacking Oliver- Ten Lessons to Improve Collaborative Outsourcing” illustrate, the focus in business relationships should be based on collaboration, credibility and building trust.

That will make the prospect of change, and managing change, much less daunting.

Image: Change by Sebastien Wiertz via Flick CC

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