Transformational changes are complex. This complexity often comes from the need to deal with a large number of variables and interdependencies, but there is usually an added layer of complexity caused by the emotional reaction that people have to change. In short – nobody likes change! This is reflected in the fact that multiple studies have shown that the majority of change projects fail to deliver their expected long-term value.
So, when you need to implement new working practices, or even a different culture, how can you make changes with predictable results? How can you have confidence that the decisions you are making are the right ones? For a start, don’t assume that what you did last time will work – especially where people are cynical due to previous failed changes.
You need to take a fresh approach and consider all aspects of the change; not just the rational and logical ones. You need to take the emotional and political factors into account as these are the hidden obstacles that usually trip up unwary projects.
With the proper tools and the right experience, it is possible to deal with the hard complexity of logical problems and with the soft complexity caused by people. You can anticipate people’s reactions and mitigate the strength and duration of any negative feelings. By doing this you reduce project delays, avoid re-working your solution, your business keeps running with a minimal dip in performance whilst you transition and you get the benefits you expected.