RESOURCES

Monitoring & Measuring Change

In Leadership

By Michael Tonkin

Let’s imagine you have implemented a major change in your department or across the organisation. Before launching the change, you know that some individuals would fully embrace the change while others would be less positive. And despite your best efforts to engage the team, create urgency and explain the why, the change has launched and the team is experiencing similar and different psychological states. What do you do?

  • Understand that not everyone is going to immediately agree with the change. Be patient. Realise that big change where the culture needs to shift cannot be changed overnight. Breaking old habits and embracing new values is difficult.
  • Keep your finger on the pulse and track the different psychological states of your team.

The Four Different Psychological States

Change Advocate:

  • Embrace the change
  • Vocal and willing to teach others how to change
  • Understand and embody the vision of good

Willing Follower:

  • Able to communicate the need for change
  • Have not fully personalised the need for change
  • Follow the lead of respected others

Apathetic:

  • Understand reasons for change
  • Have not personalised the change
  • Have not written themselves into the story

Resistor:

  • Vocally and passionately opposed to the change
  • Willing and able to negatively influence others
  • Intentional and deliberate

Tracking The Different States

One approach is to plot the team against the four different psychological states over time to understand the team, literally using a percentage score for each of the four states. This can not only give you an ongoing temperature check on the change health of your team but also allow you to plan your next move at the individual level.

See the following Change Scorecard that can be used at the business unit level. In this example, individual change champions were deployed to visit each business unit to assess the level of support/resistance to the change.

Assessing the awareness that change is necessary

What is your understanding of the … change that your business unit is going through right now?

  • Team member cannot articulate the change, seems generally unaware of the change and what it means
  • Team member can articulate the change but is not exactly sure of what it means
  • Team member can articulate the change and has a clear intellectual grasp of its meaning

In your opinion, what are the benefits of the change?

  • Team member cannot articulate the reasons or benefits
  • Team member demonstrates some company understanding but cannot make it personal to them or their business unit
  • Team member can articulate the purpose of the changes and could teach it out to someone else

Assessing the desire to change 

How do you as the manager feel about the change? How has it impacted you? Do you see it as positive or negative?

  • The manager acknowledges little impact or vague descriptions of impact
  • The manager acknowledges some impact on self and others but remains somewhat negative
  • The manager acknowledges the positives and negatives to the change and how they adapted and are now helping others

Observe the team members and their demeanour

What does the business unit feel like? What is the pulse? 

  • Team members seem busy, distracted, and sticking to old habits
  • Team members seem somewhat frustrated but are trying to change their ways
  • The unit feels good. The team seems excited about the change and are determined to overcome any obstacles

Assessing the knowledge of how to change

What tools do you as manager need to be successful in the change?

  • The manager cannot articulate what is needed to make the change happen
  • The manager offers some ideas or requests but maintains somewhat of a negative or uncertain demeanour
  • The manager requests/recommends tools for success; offers own experiences that may help in the change

Overall change progression

  • Business unit is behind on the change curve
  • Business unit is progressing, but needs an  additional push to continue momentum
  • Business unit is progressing and is beginning to embody the vision of good

Consolidate Gains and Produce More Change

The consequences of letting up can be very dangerous. Whenever you let up before the job is done, critical momentum can be lost and regression may soon follow. The new behaviours and practices must be driven into the culture to ensure long-term success. Once regression begins, rebuilding momentum is a daunting task.

Instead of declaring victory and moving on, effective change leaders will launch more and more ideas to drive the change deeper into the team/organisation. They will also take the time to ensure that all the new practices are firmly grounded in the culture.

Often, people feel satisfied with the change effort and do not build the roots that will make the change stick. Their efforts will be wasted when people revert to their old habits. Know what the winning behaviours are, the actions that need to be sustained and how you will model the new behaviours. Eventually, through such relentless efforts, the change will sink in and the old ways will be replaced by the new culture.

To embed the change and ensure that it sticks, you want to consciously acknowledge lessons learned and improved ways of working. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How can we continue to engage and involve team members over the long term?
  • What lessons have we learned?
  • How can we institutionalise best practices to capture the full benefit of this change and any future changes?

 

This blog is taken from our Leading Change eBook. Download your copy today.

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