Enabling Change Capability
Why am I Here?
Ever ask yourself “Why am I here?”
Answering this question can open up a metaphysical and philosophical quagmire but if you’re wondering about this age-old question when it comes to your role as a Change Professional, here are some points to help you.
The ultimate goal of all change professionals is to serve the leaders and people of the organizations we are part of. Serve how?
Answer: Enable and increase the organization’s change capabilities.
Let’s take a look at what this really means by first defining what your role is NOT.
Your ultimate goal is to not…
- Reduce resistance to change
- Increase change readiness
- Identify and resolve stakeholder issues and certainly not to
- Implement change
Your goal is to introduce programs, tools, processes, coaching and mentoring so the organization can do all those things THEMSELVES. (plus the 142 other tasks that are in your current job description).
Your REAL Role
Your role description is one line and one line only…
Increase the Change Capabilities of the organization, its leaders and all other stakeholders.
Yes that’s a big job and a long journey. Here are some stops along the way of that journey. There are stages or levels of organizational change capability and here are the five that we use with very brief descriptions of each level…
As we drive towards the top level, we must constantly be asking ourselves at every previous level, “what can I do so that this process tool, or approach will continue without me?
As change professionals we play many roles such as
- Driver of Change,
- and many more.
Your focus on teaching and coaching will determine how much you will truly increase an organization’s change capabilities. This means providing methods, skills and tools that everyone in the organization can use independently and more importantly actual does use.
How to Get from A to B
To do this create accountability frameworks that incent, coerce or force others to integrate practices into their work environment. Here is one that we use to facilitate leaders to have coaching conversations with their teams through the journey of change.
This is a method Leaders use to track their teams as they progress through the you-curve of change and gets them to coach their team members.
The Tangled Web We Must Weave
Getting your organization to adopt the OCM tools, processes, programs and even culture needed to increase their Change Capabilities is complex and a juggling act. The best way to visualize what all the balls are that need to be juggled is by the following…
Making a change to one aspect of this web affects the other points (and centre) connected to it. So for example, getting stakeholders to adopt the coaching process illustrated above, ask yourself…
- What is my overall strategy for increasing Change Capabilities?
- Does the Org structure help or hinder coaching conversations? (e.g. silos, matrix etc.)
- What is the process that will be used for coaching? (See above for this)
- What incentives do stakeholders have to reward/ thwart them from making time for coaching conversations?
- Who is involved in the process and what is their coaching skill level etc.?
- Are there technologies that will facilitate/ hinder coaching conversations? E.g. Skype, Video conferencing etc.
So think about what level of change capability your organization has achieved. And ask yourself…
- What roles am I playing?
- Am I making myself redundant at this level?
Keeping these two questions top of mind will ensure you are focused on the journey to the top level of organizational change capability.
Oh and it will also help answer that first question “Why am I here?”