An anonymous, reported by Ilead365 (http://www.ilead365.com/) spends some words on difficulties of change management, saying that “[…] changing an organisation is more like navigating an oil tanker than sailing a yacht”.
Of course is another case where dimensions count ( 😀 lol!): is a different effort and challenge if you deal with a big organization or a small one.
In both cases, you need to handle change with all kind precautions you can, but strategies may be different and, in my experience, there’s no rule of thumb or “one size fits all” approach.
Change is more like handcrafting than mass production.
Changing a big organisation can be compared to turning a big ship or truck in small space. It takes some factors that cannot be ignored: view and experience, target, patience, time.
View and experience: you cannot go though a change without knowing which are the dimensions of the road you’re taking. This goes through a deep analysis of working impacts for each involved target (that should be identified in advance of starting the analysis. You should ask: “how this change affects the target group? how can I make this transition easier? When does the change starts and ends?”
Target: always set where you want to go, with intermediate and measurable goals. A clear guidance is one of the success keys. If you change idea and direction reacting, the risk is that too much road is traveled for little change of position.
Patience: Everybody in a change is in a hurry, and those who lead (managers or not) have goals and tasks to accomplish, and sometimes lack the necessary patience. When patience lacks, managers tend to tend to take care of problems in first person with the results of diminishing the reliability of people involved and, as a consequence, of reducing the size of the “leading group”. This brings extra effort to solve the situation and get them onboard again.
Time: is a directly linked with patience, because time is the key to success. Changing an organization is like making a good wine. Is not enough to have grapes: you need time, patience and method to have something more than grape juice.