Change is predictable
Typical change management suggests that much about change is irrational and hard to predict. In fact, delivery risks are highly predictable, measurable and manageable. Most change management programs stall because organizations fail to consider risks of change delivery and implementation. A simple risk assessment at the outset can identify specific risks early, and providing a simple, practical set of actions that dramatically improve the odds of success.
Go beyond installation
Many organizations install a change successfully, but then stumble when they try to realize the anticipated benefits. Installation is relatively easy–it's like designing a new playbook in the sports world. To realize the benefits of the new book, the players have to start using the new plays. That's the hard part: It requires changing the way people behave. Executives who fail to identify and manage the few critical behaviors that need to change will face an uphill battle. The biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful change efforts is breaking past installation and onto realization.
Build a Sponsorship Spine
For any transformational change to succeed, people have to think and work differently. And to get these new behaviors to stick, they need to be reinforced and celebrated by a connected group of sponsors throughout the organization, the Sponsorship Spine. The direct line boss has the greatest influence over individual behaviors. That is why it's essential to build a Sponsorship Spine from the bottom up. An unbroken chain from the frontline to the C-suite will ensure that people at every level understand their roles and are ready to engage. Sponsorship is a cascading process and a "black hole" anywhere along the line will stop the change process below it. Program managers and senior leaders must continually monitor the health of the Sponsorship Spine, because it is essential to achieving results. If sponsors prove ineffective, they should be coached or, if necessary, replaced.
Realizing results is not easy. It takes time, focus, determination and planning for a future where, even with the best of intentions, things are likely to veer off course. Bain is a partner with the experience to help navigate these tricky waters and help your organization deliver lasting results.
Our Results Delivery approach is grounded in the following guiding principles:
- Help individuals succeed: Organizations don't change, people do. To get results, individuals must behave differently. Identify the vital few behaviors that drive the most results, and reinforce them with timely, positive and consistent consequences. Invest in coaching to develop individual capabilities. Build motivation for the change by shifting communication toward a two-way dialogue.
- Bring the future to life: Create a clear and compelling vision for the future. Ensure that leaders are aligned, committed to this vision and ready to enroll the entire organization. Develop solutions that are credible and create pull for the change.
- Inspire deep commitment: Develop leadership talent and ensure that leaders work effectively together. Build a healthy Sponsorship Spine: apply an intentional process to cascade commitment along the spine through the front line and activate key influencers.
- Deliver the value: Develop a realistic transformation plan informed by the organization's capacity to implement and absorb change; establish a governance structure to ensure effective, efficient decision-making. Maintain a focus on realization while creating the plan and measuring progress.
- Build to sustain: Modify the organizational enablers—roles, structure and culture—and adapt systems and technology to support the change. Establish feedback loops and response mechanisms to enable solutions to evolve as needed to ensure enduring results.