Building Excitement for Change?

It occurred to me during a recent meeting as I struggled to stay awake, the importance of building excitement and interest in change.  There is a new change management system coming to replace the current HPSM.  Instead of creating an aurora of excitement for this change, it was like a giant WTF moment.  The two presenters basically stood up in front of a number of power point slides and read face down into a piece of paper.  This did not build any type of engagement, with the audience what so ever, another member of our team like me also struggled to stay awake.

There are many models of change out there, one of the ones that I have come across is Kotter’s eight Step model (http://www.kotterinternational.com/our-principles/changesteps).  Kotter (1995) in the Harvard Business Review wrote a nice article on why most transformations end in failure.  Looking at the first step, establishing a Sense of Urgency our two presenters failed to create this sense, they certainly presented a lot of material but there was no moment that I felt there was a need to make a change. 

Another step missed is Kotter’s Third step developing a Change Vision and fourth step communicating the vision, this presentation should have helped create a vision of this change and then communicating this change.  What is the importance and purpose of this change to the organization?  Most of all forgetting to mention the “What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) Factor.”  Not once did I get a sense of this making my job easier or better.  In fact it only fueled the OMG my job is tough enough without a new unknown tool, that is rumored to be even more cumbersome then the tool we are using now.

Of course this tool, will be used in the future, I will have little or no input or say in the process as they have created little for me to buy-in into the new vision.  Kotter(1995) states “A Vision says something that clarifies the direction in which an organization needs to move.”  Listening to the presenters drone on about all the potential this tool has did not have a context into the vision of what they were trying to accomplish as an organization.  Even under the ADKAR (http://www.prosci.com/adkar-model/overview-3/) change method the first steps is to build awareness of the change. This entails:

1.       A person’s view of the current state

2.       How a person perceives problems

3.       Credibility of the sender of awareness messages

4.       Circulation of misinformation or rumours

5.       Contestability of the reasons for change.

Then Building Desire for change:

1.       The nature of the change (what change is and how it will impact each person)

2.       The organization of environmental context for the change (my perception of the change)

3.       Each individual person’s situation

4.       What motivates a person?

IF you fail to develop a WIFFM when delivering a major information session of an impending major change, creating a common vision and buy-in is going to be a tough sell.  Basically the organization will shove change down employee’s throats and the choice will be change or leave.  Not really the choices a organization should be looking at when it comes to human resource management.

References:

Kotter, J. P.(1995) ‘Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail’[Onlie]. Harvard Business Review, April – May. Available at: http://89.248.0.102/upload/Topplederprogrammet/Internsider/Kull9/Litteratur/2.1%20Leading%20Change%20-%20Why%20Transformation%20Efforts%20Fail%20by%20JP%20Kotter.pdf (Accessed: 22 August 2013)

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