Evaluating change in business has traditionally been a top-down affair. Leaders have always evaluated the results of change(e.g. revenue, profit, expenses), but haven’t always evaluated the way change happens itself. This isn’t surprising, as it is results that are most important to stakeholder groups, such as investors.
If we’re not evaluating how change works in our business, and the impact a change from ground-up, then how do we know what aspects of our change resources, capabilities and methodologies are effective, or working against us?
It’s rare for any of us to be really good at something, naturally and without effort. You’ve probably heard the claim that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. ‘Change’ is no different. Unlike learning to ride a bike, where success or failure is made obvious by the scraped knee and bruised ego, learning to do change requires us to consider the consequences of change.
Agile businesses have created environments where people at all levels can openly provide feedback about the company’s products/services and the way change develops them. Evaluative data is gathered, analysed and shared across the organisation in near real-time, enabling course-corrections mid-change. Expensive or risky mistakes can be nipped in the bud before they cause too much damage.
Compare this with traditionally structured organisations where feedback was stifled by the chain of command (or sometimes described as the pyramid of ignorance), painstakingly curated and presented in comb-bound folders. Latency between realisation and corrective action was woefully long.
Regularly evaluating change, therefore, creates an environment for continuous improvement and a growth mindset. When leaders stimulate and support curiosity, experimentation and an open-mind in their workforce, fresh ideas can bubble up and innovation takes off. In this fast-paced, ever-changing business environment, which leader wouldn’t want that?
Our motivation comes from helping organisations and the people within them to become better at change, at a time when it’s becoming ever more critical for survival. We’re shining a light on the important factors, intangible and often missed, that have the biggest impact on change success.
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