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OCM Value Add Part 5 – Human’s Desire to View the Bigger Picture

Welcome to Part 5 of our OCM Value Add series. So far, we have focused on how Organizational Change Management (OCM) can provide long term value by aligning it with the way humans naturally respond to change. We’ve covered three challenges:

  1. Humans’ desire to retain control.
  2. Humans’ desire for credible leadership.
  3. Humans’ preference and success in learning by doing.

In this post we will look at Challenge #4, humans’ desire to understand the bigger picture.

During the development and design phases, change management project leaders must be laser focused on goals, objectives, impacts and communications. However, to be successful in meeting the goals of successful change; (speed of adoption and sustainability and, reduction of change fatigue) leadership and communication efforts must “connect the dots” between multiple initiatives.

They must answer the questions of: “how do these changes ensure the success of our strategy? Are they driven by our strategy? Can leadership clearly align changes to overall our strategy, and do they do so consistently in their communications? Has training been developed to address these initiatives? Are users able to see how they are impacted by the collection of projects and do stakeholders see the “bigger picture?”

“To be successful in meeting the goals of successful change leadership and communication efforts must “connect the dots” between multiple initiatives.”

How it works today

  • The nature of how projects are defined, budgeted, sold, and approved often results in a singular focus when presented to users as part of leadership communications, training, impacts, and performance goals and measures.
  • While a link to strategy is provided it is often not overly emphasized. Individual initiatives and their OCM efforts are the primary focus, and in many cases they compete for resources and mind share.
  • OCM Stakeholders are often not informed about how the many projects they lead are con­nected in strategic terms. This can result in unnecessary change fatigue.

What tomorrow will look like

  • Stakeholders’ OCM responsibilities are not limited to a single project. They understand how their organizations are impacted by multiple initiatives and how to consistently communicate the bigger picture.
  • Leadership, managers, and other key stakeholders understand how employees can absorb more change when they see the bigger picture. They realize how this reduces change fatigue.
  • Leadership communications link each initiative to the overall strategy in tangible terms including budgets, timing, training, communications, and impacts.
  • Leadership holds stakeholders accountable for understanding how each initiative impacts their organization.
  • Communications and training “connect the dots” in specific terms of impact, timing, measurement and skills.
  • Corporate communications and HR play the “traffic cop role” to ensure that users see the bigger picture and their role in it. (note: this does not mean that Corporate Communications and HR are responsible for developing communications and training,, but they are responsible for the oversight of these activities).

Near term actions you can take

  • Introduce leadership, stakeholders, and managers to strategic OCM practices and how helping their organizations to see the “bigger picture” reduces change fatigue and accelerates adoption.
  • Introduce leadership to an initiative approval format that ensures they ask questions regarding the big picture and that provides an opportunity for sign off and approval for areas such as cost of OCM, timing, risks and risk mitigation and potential points of resistance.
  • Train Corporate Communications and HR in their oversight roles and the questions they need to be asking.
  • Introduce stakeholders and managers to the oversight role that HR and Corporate communications will be playing.

Our last blog of this series shines a spotlight on humans’ desire to be a part of something that matters… something that makes a difference.

If your company is in need of organizational change management expertise, we would be happy to talk with you about your needs and goals, and make sure that they tie back to your “bigger picture.” Get in touch and let’s discuss.

Steve MacGill, Consultant Advisory Board Member, The CARA Group

Author Steve MacGill, Consultant Advisory Board Member, The CARA Group

Steve MacGill is an independent management consultant, advisor and freelance writer with over 25 years of experience in Organizational Change Management (OCM) and Leadership. He serves on CARA's Consulting Advisory Board and is a frequent contributor to our Blog on OCM-related topics such as change resiliency, building OCM competency, increasing OCM value, as well as the human side of change.

More posts by Steve MacGill, Consultant Advisory Board Member, The CARA Group