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Saturday, 08 February 2014 00:00

Does the Right Hand Know What All the Other Hands are Doing?

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The senior management of the organization has done a thorough analysis and assessment, and everyone's agreed:  The sales department is holding up the rest of the organization, and needs some radical change.

So you redraw the sales territory boundaries, give them some new CRM software, write a new sales training program and hold a 2-day retreat designed to get all the salespeople engaged in the new system.  It seems to be working and everyone in the sales department is excited to be moving forward.

But...a month after the changes take effect, you discover that the supply chain is in disarray, the accounting department is fuming because they aren't getting invoices in a timely manner, and the entire customer service team is about to mutiny because they're getting so many angry calls from clients. 

What the heck happened?

does the right hand know what the left hand is doing change management

You forgot that changes to the Sales organization didn't happen in a vacuum.  When you changed the way Sales functioned within the organization, you changed the way the whole organization worked.  When Sales changed the way they processed orders, it had in impact on the way Accounting processed them; when Sales put a big push on Product X, that had an impact on the way Supply Chain sourced it; and when Sales changed the message it communicated to customers, it had an impact on Customer Service.

At its core, change management is really about being able to see the big picture and mapping out how a change - or a set of changes - in one area is going to affect other areas of the organization, and what needs to happen in order for all the elements to work together effectively.

When proposing a change that seems to affect only one department or division, here are some questions to ask:

-  How will this change affect the day-to-day activities of the key roles within this department?

-  How will this change affect the day-to-day activities of key roles in other departments?

-  Can we draw before and after process maps of key procedures within the organization to identify what will happen as a result of these changes?

-  Have we asked for input from key stakeholders in other departments to help identify how a change in Department A will affect Departments B-F?

-  What communication and training will other departments/divisions need in order to be working in concert on Day 1 of the change?

Asking these questions - and taking the time to plan for the answers - can add a little time at the outset of a change initiative, but I guarantee they'll save time (and headache) when the change starts to take effect.

 

Read 3959 times Last modified on Sunday, 09 February 2014 22:26

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Beth Banks Cohn, PhD, founder and president of ADRA Change Architects, is dedicated to helping you and your organization reach your full business potential…
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