A change management consultant can be an extremely powerful ally in assisting organizations through technology and process transitions to achieve successful outcomes. At Interlink, we want our clients to not only install and adopt the best technology through Microsoft but to roll it out and use it as effectively as possible to maximize results. That’s why Interlink is excited to welcome Rachael Narel to our team: with a Ph.D. in Organizational Development, an MS in Management and Organizational Behavior, and over 20 years of experience in IT. Rachael is a scholar-practitioner with a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience in change management. In short, she not only shows organizations how to survive change but teaches them to leverage it to their benefit.
Rachael can help your organization assess readiness for change, build buy-in strategies, review organizational alignment with the change, create communications plans to get the right information to the right people in the right way, assist in user-adoption activities such as training, and measure progress. This helps ensure technology is translated into business value.
“Strengths-based consulting is a different way of looking at things,” Rachael says, “where you don't ignore the problems and the things that are going wrong, you just don't dwell on them. Using those types of change management methods bring people around faster, and creates embedded change more quickly within an organization.” Shifting your mindset and practices around change can actually build Change-Capacity within your organization, accelerating the results of strategic changes in the future.
While you can optimize for change, it will never be totally predictable. Certainly, in Rachael’s experience, change inside and outside of the organization is happening faster than ever before. This almost inevitably means navigating hidden challenges; good change management practices can also help you preemptively mitigate them.
Here are the five biggest opportunities Rachael has seen around digital adoption:
Vision means clearly setting out the goals of a proposed change so that your team is clear on the who, what, where, why, and how. Taking the time to define a vision helps your team know what you are aiming at and moving toward. It creates a clear picture of the desired end state. Without a well-defined and well-communicated vision using appropriate communication channels, there may be a lot of confusion.
The skills piece means having the right talents, skills, and training to properly facilitate the change and operate on the new system or within the new processes. A big portion of this is training, but a common mistake is to think that all it takes is some training and then your team is good to go. Without the proper skills in place, people will likely be anxious about the impending change.
Incentives drive behavior within the workplace. They can provide motivation and encouragement during change management programs and should always be aligned with desired results and outcomes. They also set clear expectations - without properly calibrated incentives for your team to switch to the new tools or new way of doing things, you’ll only get sporadic change.
To ensure that changes are implemented in a lasting and successful manner, you’ll need to ensure your team has the resources to do the work. Without the right resources, people get frustrated. These could include personal resources like time, operational resources like funding or personnel, learning resources such as on-demand training and tooltips, or support resources as the changes are rolled out.
You’ve clearly communicated your vision for the change, your team has the skills & resources, and you’ve properly incentivized adoption. Now, you need to define how and when you will roll out each next step of the process. An action plan says what you’ll do and when you’ll do it. It’s crucial that you know where you are in the adoption process at any given time. Without it, you get false starts, and steps can get confused which will hinder your forward progress.
Rachael has assisted with many change management initiatives, and in doing so she has recognized that each organization is unique with its own culture and set of circumstances. Thus, there is no ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to change, and the key is to really partner with organizations to understand their current state, desired future state, and where opportunities lie. To see how you can leverage Interlink’s change management expertise, contact us to discuss your next initiative!