The USA based Change Management Consultancy PROSCI says that if you generate Awareness about your project, Desire will set in and you can Teach people, Train Behaviors and Skills and your changes will become successful. It’s called ADKAR, for those who want to look it up. Others say no that is nonsense, better start teaching people new behaviors right away and they will overcome their resistance as these new behaviors gradually become their new daily. I have also heard managers say Just explain to them what we are going to do and let’s get over it. Many visions, but none that really work. Way over 70% of all change projects fail.

All employees need attention, recognition, the feeling of being involved and respected, the sense of belonging and security and yes why not, that bit of ownership of what they do individually and with their team. These are universal and basic human needs that any leader has to cover, always. The challenges, the battles and the struggles, the victories and celebrations, and sometimes the losses, they are worth nothing without these emotions. They are the true drivers of people’s motivation and animators of their actions. Leadership is providing the mission, the values, the setting and the security, let’s call it The Culture, where people can experience these feelings of Belonging, Responsibility, Trust and Recognition. It makes flow all their actions towards the production of these emotions over and over again, making your organization effective and agile. That’s what leadership is about.

If the above leadership would be in place, there would be little need for change management as a discipline, not to say a profession, as well lead and emotionally prepared employees would take any change as the next challenge to deal with. The global cry out for more Change Management seems therefor one of an absence of leadership.

Gallup, Ketchum and many others have done global surveys on employee motivation and engagement, results of leadership, and indeed things do not look good. In fact, they look very bad. Way over 80% of employees worldwide are not motivated, feel no belonging or recognized for what they do, or do not trust their managers. These are the facts. That’s why change fails.

Some say we don’t need change management, but the change of management. That may be jumping to conclusions, but there is some truth in such a statement in current times of fast-moving technologies and globalization.

I believe that many managers, and even some of those who currently do not manage, can step up to become good leaders, generally, not only when things need to change, which is the new normal anyway. But as everything in life, leadership has a strong learning curve, besides some born in qualities. In my experience, roughly 25% of current managers cannot or will never lead change because of a lack of will to learn, skill or character.

It is senseless to deny this and owner managed companies usually deal quickly with it. It’s the larger shareholder based enterprises with non-owner management that has a tendency of avoiding the confrontations needed to make the changes they too see. The owner is afraid of losing business and money and acts. The non-owning manager is afraid of losing power, authority, even his job, and tends to freeze in the face of actions needed, even if all circumstances and the facts indicate otherwise. This is where all change should start.

How to improve

At DOFAS, we start listening, face to face and individually, to ALL involved managers, from CEO to Team leaders, as we know it’s the basis for any successful change. As external Change Managers we have no authority, but we do have the expertise to ask the right questions and interpret the answers. By doing so we gain credibility, trust, and the respect when things boil down to some earthy reality checks and conclusions. We learned that many managers know and feel it as a liberation when things are finally called by their names and fall in place.

Conditioner here is the full back up by any CEO. That’s where his personal leadership comes in. The whole chain of command needs to know that change managers are the temporarily extended arm of his (new) vision, values, and plan. Back up means that the C-suite of the company will support any staffing, communications and training suggestions – also these strange none job-related ones -and gets budget available.

We also talk to affected other stakeholders, listen to employees, vendors, consumers…and make sure we map the gaps between As Is and To Be. These gaps are not only leadership and culture oriented, but link into technology, business, organization, operations… However small the change, the ripple effects are always massive and need at least identification, and most often a consideration.

By engaging deeply and consistently with all managers and many others, we build a solid base for more successful transformation as it aims at building leadership quality and consistency into the organization as the key driver for current and future adjustments.

At DOFAS, our independent Consultancy, we have a solid method for helping to get these things done, but bottom line is that we believe that enterprises can only survive in the long run with structural in-house CM capacity.

Our goal is to help companies first get your current issues fixed as quickly and cheaply as possible, while secondly making it your priority to get us out and deal with it consistently yourself, creating own expertise, models and build experience and expertise that lasts beyond the next consultancy. And we help them get rid of us as well.

If we do it right after they will only need us for sanity checks, for clearing the doubts on the go, and as a sounding board whenever needed. Something easy to capture in a retainer fee.

Resuming, DOFAS helps enterprises with

  • Fixing the current
  • Creating own muscle and capacity and
  • Keeping a finger on the pulse whenever and wherever needed.

If that makes sense to you, we have a match.

Andre Baken