Implementing Organizational Change Effectively
Disruptive Technology means Paradigm Shift
The only constant in the world is change. Change can happen for many reasons. Innovative disruptors such as ERP or other technology forces change and new ways of thinking. One of the most common failures for technology implementations is a failure to understand the resistance to change. Whether it is the introduction of new software or a complete overhaul of the an organizations quality assurance, the process of change represents a challenge to old paradigms. The changes that organizations need to make often time disrupt the dominant paradigm rather than sustaining it. The problem with these disruptive changes is that people are still applying the old paradigms to the new realities. They are trying, in a sense, to understand the car as nothing more than a carriage without horses.
The Flexible Thinker® tools are designed to give people the tools they need to create a paradigm shift. Our model for change is based on a foundation of analysis (understanding the need for change) and ownership (owning the change and creating new roles based on the change). This supports innovative change and leads to sustainable improvement.
A medium sized manufacturer in the food industry purchased an ERP system for the Organization. Prior to the introduction of the software, the Organization had the ability to purchase goods and services without any paperwork and had little to no formal processes in place. The introduction of the software was meant to introduce formal business best practices and procedures. Employees were not given any tools to change and fought the new processes the technology introduced and instead continued to try to do things the way they had always been done and actively undermined the important steps the software enforced. Two years after the original purchase of the software the company was still struggling with the implementation. It was explained to them that they also needed to implement an organizational change strategy.
The first thing we did was to understand how to use the software, analyze job functions and spend time with people to understand what they did. The next step was to communicate how the reason for the changes. We then designed a series of workshops using the Flexible Thinker® tools and worked with people to create ways to implement the changes. This gave them ownership of the changes. All changes and implementation were co-ordinated with senior management and we took them and created draft KPIs and SLAs for them to review. They reviewed the documents and made changes which were subsequently reviewed by senior management. We took those documents and created new SOPs, job description and roles and responsibilities that integrated the software. We then helped coach people through the changes and allowed them to apply their new behviour. With any change, there is a period of frustration where performance declines. We prepped senior management on that and acted as a resource through that period. After a couple of months, we saw that the technology was being used effectively and that people had integrated it into an ‘unconsciously skilled’ mode and performance was on the rise. We ended by celebrating our success and recognizing everybody for their success in completing the process. A year later when we did that audit, the client was amazed at how well the software was working!
A pharma company was instituted a ICH Q10 certification into the organization. Working with a team that included Lean Sigma Master Black Belts and using a variety of tools, we created a strategy that analyzed inefficiencies and process improvement, we identified areas that could be improved and build higher quality. Working closely with the QA team, we then followed a similar system above to engage people and lead them into driving and owning the change. We were, of course, very conscious of the regulatory ramifications of the changes and were able to implement the system for the company to get their Q10 certification.