Our change leaders need to inspire confidence so I hope the articles in this month’s issue strike a chord
In August last year, the 2013 Towers Watson ‘Change and Communication ROI Survey’ revealed that, of the organisations examined, only 55 per cent of change management initiatives met their initial objectives, with only 25 per cent reporting their gains were sustained over time.
Eighty-seven per cent of respondents trained their managers to ‘manage change,’ but only 22 per cent felt the training was actually effective. Most senior managers (68 per cent) reported understanding the needs for change but, elsewhere in the organisation, that fell to 53 per cent for middle managers and 40 per cent for front-line supervisors.
As L&D professionals, we spend a lot of our time engaging with our people to help facilitate change initiatives but, clearly, while we may be winning the occasional battle, we don’t seem to be winning the war.
So this month we aim to provide a variety of perspectives on change; although these days the term ‘managing’ change seems passé, as the fluidity of organisational life means that change is constant and by definition almost ‘unmanageable’.
There are nine features encompassing a raft of approaches from the practical tips and tools of Garry Platt’s article on page 21 to James Flanagan’s (page 10) and Nick Dowling’ s (page 47) exploration of how an interest in neuroscience might just give you that edge in getting the buy-in you need from your people. The cover feature from Mike Clayton (page 26) shows we have to focus on engagement at all levels and ensure that it is proactive and respectful.
Often while in the midst of a major culture change, the going is slow, with progress frustrating, messy and hard to measure. But there are things you can do to improve your chances of success. The focus has to be on informing, engaging and enabling your people. Managers at all levels need to understand the reason for the change – so get the objectives right and communicate them well. Senior managers need to model the behaviours needed for change and should engage in dialogue with their people early and often.
It’s not so much a long haul these days but more of a constant battle where the objective at the start might suddenly change. Just like good battle commanders throughout time, our change leaders need to inspire confidence with their integrity by listening to those around them and communicating decisions clearly so that their forces know the role they have to play.
Until next month – happy reading
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