Change, they say, is inevitable. But for businesses and companies, being change-ready is more inevitable, given how quickly developments that affect business take place. Technology change, regulatory change, climate change, etc., all impact the way companies operate, how leaders manage their teams, and how teams work together. Managing change, then, is essential for companies to access better business outcomes.
What is change management?
Change management is a set of methods, processes, and tools which a company uses to implement change both internally and externally. Many companies take on change management programs to systematically embed change either in culture, skills, or technology, to name a few. But instituting change within a single team, say by using a new form of technology or application, is vastly different from steering enterprise-wide change like, say, converting operations into climate-friendly ones.
So, as a leader, how does one prepare for change and perhaps foretell the success of any change program before setting it in motion? Frameworks help.
The DICE Framework
The bright minds at Boston Consulting Group developed an effective method known as the DICE framework to help leaders predict and assess the outcome of change. They use an almost mathematical equation that takes managers step by step, helping them determine the feasibility of their change initiative. Here is a closer look:
- Duration, or the time taken to run any change management program. Leaders often worry about how long change initiatives may run. A good rule of thumb here is: shorter the project, greater its chances of success. How can leaders keep their programs short and effective? Try conducting assessments and reviews more frequently. When leaders review programs more often, say every week or every month for longer projects, they can monitor progress and course-correct on time, helping projects remain on track.
- Integrity, or the ability of the workforce. How perceptive your teams are greatly influences the outcome of the transformation. Integrity, in this case, includes skills, experience, and motivation levels. So, it helps for leaders to empower the human resource team to take critical decisions on time and resolve conflicts.
- Commitment, or the extent of resilience. Change is difficult. Sticking with old mindsets is usually easier than adapting to new, unknown ones. But buy-in from the organization as a whole is critical to make any change initiative work. Employees ought to work in unison with leaders for fruitful results. How well the ‘change leaders’ visibly support the effort is how well employees embrace it.
- Effort, or going the extra mile. Some things are unexpected, but can be planned for. For instance, additional work that might be needed to fructify a change. Employees might need to dedicate time to learn new skills or re-organize into new teams to work towards the new goals of the change programs. Leaders, meanwhile, can facilitate this by motivating and championing them.
When timed right and executed well, change is what helps people and organizations learn, explore new opportunities, and exercise their creativity in different ways to grow. Like the saying goes, change might be inevitable, growth is optional.