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Are you Ready for OC_Nuno Oliveira

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  1. 1. Are you Ready for an Organisational and Cultural Change? Insights and Practical Experience Author: Nuno Oliveira https://pt.linkedin.com/in/nunoliveira
  2. 2. Taxonomy Myth – Idea, mindset or rationale that I’ve heard or had some contact over the past 5 or 6 years. “My’s” – My personal opinion and view based on my experience driving Change Programmes at Business and IT level. For sure some comments and ideas are not necessarily of everyone's agreement and can be seen as a kickoff for further discussions. 2
  3. 3. Introduction Both markets and our personal lives are changing heavily and creating unprecedented uncertainty. Many organisations are realising that they need to adapt and possibly rethink their entire structure to be focussed on their current vision of the future. Many organisations are making solid improvements while others, probably the biggest percentage, are still struggling to implement the required type of changes. Among those critical changes that are related with business, technology, process, etc. there is one that stands up as the most challenging type of change… the organisational/cultural change!
  4. 4. People… Culture… Organisation – Concepts 4 Overview and Scene Setting • Organisational Culture (OC) – “The collective programming of the mind which distinguishes one group or category of people from another.” – Geert Hoffstede • Culture – People in groups • National Culture – “Values” or the way things “should be” • Organisational Culture – “Practices/Behaviours”, the way things “are” or how “we do things” • “Vectors” of OC • Process (How we do things) vs Results (What we do) • Employee (Employee satisfaction) vs Job (Role and Function to be performed) • Conventional (Identity taken from being in the organisation) vs Professional (Identity from outside) • Open (Easy to join and feel welcome) vs Closed System (Hard and not to everyone to fit) • Loose (Casual and improvisation) vs Tight Control (Seriousness posture) • Normative (Ideologically driven) vs Pragmatic (“Business” driven) • John Kotter (who teaches Leadership at Harvard Business School) has made it his business to study both success and failure in change initiatives in business. He concluded that there are eight steps that any business must go through to have any chance of success with change. Those 8 steps can be summarised in 3 major groups: • Creating a climate for change; • Engaging and enabling the organisation; • Implementing and sustaining the change.
  5. 5. People… Culture… Organisation – Concepts 5 Overview and Scene Setting • Learning Stages 1. Unconscious incompetence – We don’t know that we don’t know 2. Conscious incompetence – We realise that we don’t know 3. Conscious competence – We learn how to do but with conscious effort 4. Unconscious competence – we know how to do it without any effort Moving into Stage 2, there is a trend to “shoot the messenger” and refuse to accept the state of incompetence. Move from stage 2 to stage 3 organisations must change, typically at 3 major levels: - Culture - Continuous Improvement - Process Change / Reengineering / Automation
  6. 6. To ensure a smooth Change process? Change leaders share both the urgency and the vision with their areas and engage everyone in the change effort To empower Change Agents? Give change leaders the power, resources and time to make the change happen To clearly communicate the vision? Articulate a consistent and clear vision of the new system’s purpose, design, operations and highlights 6 To really make the difference? Promote the new environment anchorage in the organization’s culture and its relationships
  7. 7. To build the momentum? Identify and take advantage of short-term wins to build momentum To ensure proper state of urgency? Communicate a clear sense of urgency that motivates the necessary attention and learning To keep moving forward? Change teams have the mandate and authority to consolidate the short-term wins and keep moving forward 7 To coach and not force? Changing culture is less a matter of providing arguments to influence people’s thoughts than helping them understand advantages that will certainly influence their feelings.
  8. 8. Myths and “My’s” Myth: “Discuss the strategy and roadmaps only at top management level and let other people in the dark until you decide to act.” My view: In spite of the advantages to discuss and align strategy with a short number of people, as soon as possible communicate the desired changes and associated reasons at least for key people when you become aware that employees lack information about how the changes have implication in their future. Persuaded and motivated people often help and drive implementation of the change and the added value of bringing them earlier into the discussion is quite profitable even if you know it’s a task too time consuming when lots of people are involved. 8
  9. 9. Myths and “My’s” Myth: “If a Change must happen, we should not involve existing teams in the process to avoid possible ‘threats’ and lack of ‘willing’ to make it happen.” My view: As much as possible potential resisters, in designing and implementing the change, should be engaged and in some cases also empowered. This becomes critical when change agents don’t have enough knowledge to implement the Change. It will ensure that people feel more committed to making the change happen even if sometimes can be too time consuming, and employees may design inappropriate change. 9
  10. 10. Myths and “My’s” Myth: “The Change process is not a democracy and managers should dictate what they need or else it can’t be done. Emotions must be kept aside since the notion of having friends in the same company can be a problem. Impacted people need to accept and proceed with the new operating model.” My view: Implement training session for required skills and provide emotional support when people are resisting and afraid they can’t make the required change. It’s a relatively easy way to fight major resistance. Still can be time consuming and expensive (still can fail), but is worth to try. 10
  11. 11. Myths and “My’s” Myth: “Don’t reward people able to make the change since you are promoting what should be happening anyway and can pass the wrong message. You should not ask people to adhere but instead tell them and expect them to do it as part of their job.” My view: Create incentive programs to reward people able to make the change. ‘Loosing’ people during change implementation that still have considerable power to resist can be a blocker. There are several types of rewards and some are not hard to implement. Still can be expensive and possibility of “blackmail” or lack of transparency would increase... 11
  12. 12. Myths and “My’s” Myth: “When implementing the Change, don’t fire anyone. Avoid taking actions that can increase resistance.” My view: In special critical situations flagging that job losses or promotion opportunities can disappear must be done; fire or re-allocate people that can’t or won’t change is crucial. Speed is essential and change agents are empowered to make hard decisions. Being honest and anticipating those possible results works quickly and can overcome big resistance even if can create the notion of bad change agents. 12
  13. 13. Conclusions / Recommendations A. Identify what other changes are also happening and accept the risk that any change may be overwhelmed by the combination of other. B. Change isn’t a single, continuous process. Instead, is broken down as a number of different tasks/steps. C. Managers need to define what strategies (communication, training, etc.) are appropriate for the different stages, rather than decide on a single approach. At the same time remain flexible and ready to cope with unexpected and uncontrolled changes as they could and most probably will happen. It will require more effort and planning time, but clearly implement the change more smoothly and efficiently. D. Monitor and adjust strategies. E. While planning Change Strategies, managers need to consider the nature of the relationship that the organisation has with employees and how the changes they are introducing might affect them. F. Mobilise energy and commitment through joint identification of business problems and their solutions. G. Deliver short-term wins showing benefits and producing more changes. 13
  14. 14. Conclusions / Recommendations H. Develop a vision and strategy and provide an ‘emotive’ stewardship. I. Communicate, involve people and be honest Communicating the change vision. J. Separate from the past and explain why. K. Establish a sense of urgency, explaining risks of not doing it in a timely manner. L. Identify the leadership/sponsorship and ensure “political” support. M. Share an implementation plan and periodically publish its evolution. N. Reinforce and institutionalise change defining transparent and measurable KPIs. O. Focus on results not on activities. P. Start change at the periphery, then let it spread to other units without the need to always push it from the top. This would enable change to happen simply because there are evidences that it can be done and other impacted areas can be seen as examples (share lessons learned and testimonials). 14
  15. 15. Which Future? A. Changes are here to stay. No old mentality type of vision can persist. World is changing at a speed we have huge difficulty to follow and even worst… to accept it! B. Unless organisations focus on making the employees believe the added value of doing the Change, there is a high risk of being ‘sleeping with the enemy’… Basically, don’t ignore the human side of the changes. C. Companies that understand the concept of Change Agent leaders will fight between themselves to hire them. D. Change programmes without short term results are condemned to fail. Organisations can no longer implement 2-3 year programmes and wait for those benefits. E. Cultural mindset must be major concern in every Change programme. F. Multi-Cultural organisations, where global and remote type of jobs are part of their nature, will be best positioned to play a leader role in the market. 15
  16. 16. 16 Thank you! Contacts nuolivei@gmail.com https://pt.linkedin.com/in/nunoliveira

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