Transformation from threat to opportunity
According to research 70% of the changes fail. Many customers come to us right at the moment when the implementation of a change threatens to fail.
Factors causing failure
In my research for my book ‘Leading Organisation Transformation’ I analysed the factors causing failure for an organisational transformation:
· The organisation puts employee satisfaction before customer satisfaction.
· The change is enforced.
· Employees are involved for only 20% in their own organisation.
· The organisation simply chooses a trendy approach to change.
· The organisation focuses on laggards.
· The management brings new people into the old organisation.
· Many different models, measurements and results are used.
· The model used does not keep track of new developments.
Success factors for change
We see change as an opportunity; as an interesting journey, in which you can learn a lot about yourself. You are invited to participate and if you do not want to do that, you will stay behind. That’s neither bad nor good, but it’s the consequence of not going along with the change. We are not prepared to carry people along on our journey. Everyone has the responsibility to make their own change journey. We do that together, but everyone will have to walk for themselves. I learned a lot from my first customer. Success factors have everything to do with the right focus:
– Focus on employees,
– Focus on the best leaders,
– Focus on values and people.
– Focus on change agents,
– Focus on the ability to change,
– Change focus every day,
– Diversification of focus.
Focus on employees
Marketing naturally focuses on the areas that they can influence, such as brand, price and product characteristics. But a customer’s willingness to recommend the product to a friend depends on how well the customer has been treated by the front-end employees. And that is exactly what the People Change Scan measures.
The People Change score gives them the score for employee satisfaction. With this score and the customer’s score, they can raise both scores together in a very targeted way and make the organisation even more customer-oriented.
Focus on the best leaders
My first customer was an organisation that clearly chose the people who were ahead of the curve in order to achieve the desired change. He wanted to establish a clear relationship between the best leaders and their positive results in the organization. He wanted to know specifically how the number of distinguishing competencies on which the company assessed managers and employees, could be reduced from 21 to the 9 most important. In our survey, we compared the best managers with the weakest. This is how we were able to demonstrate which 9 competencies were significantly distinctive. The result gave the client a good idea of who were the best leaders. These leaders were given the task of being the first to achieve the desired organisational changes. Furthermore, all other managers were trained to become very good at these 9 important competencies, so that they could also keep up with the new organisation.
We then tried to link these 9 leadership competencies with the organisational competencies. That was a lot harder. To achieve this, I went one step deeper and examined the values behind the competences and behaviour of both leaders and teams, the culture and the entire organisation.
Focus on values and people
That’s how I arrived at the value levels by Graves. This allowed me to link the leadership values to the organizational values. In collaboration with my colleague Petra Groot, I developed a model for my thesis with questionnaires, based on existing questionnaires. These now form the People Change Scan.
The People Change Scan is a single methodology based on a single model for all levels at which you want to transform the organisation: individual leadership, team, culture and the entire organisation. This provides a clear and comprehensive overview. Moreover, you can compare it to other companies. Over time we have collected a good amount of data; more than one thousand people have carried out the scan in over fifty organisations.
The People Change Scan firstly provides results of the People Change Score. This figure can in turn be divided into three parts: organisation, leadership and change. Each part has three aspects. This leads to in-depth information on the nine aspects:
- The People Change Score,
- The compliance with organisational priorities,
- The mental flexibility,
- The change skills,
- The change preference,
- the change barometer,
- the organisational structure and culture,
- The value system and
- The value system under pressure.
Our clients receive a People Change Scan report in which we indicate the People Change Score and the other eight results in terms of organisation, leadership and change level. The People Change Score itself is divided into four different levels and indicates the connection between the manager or employee and the organisation. When it is high, the connection with the organization is good and someone is in the right position within the organisation.
Just like the more advanced scale in the gym that measures not only the weight but also the amount of water, fat percentage and much more, the People Change Scan provides more specific information in addition to the score. You can base your decision on a single figure in the People Change Score, which provides information about yourself and the people in your team or organisation. But you can also look at the information on a deeper level and analyse the measurements in all nine aspects.
Focus on change agents
Earlier I explained why it doesn’t work to focus on the laggards. Much more interesting is the question: how do you guide people who do want to create a team together and change successfully?
Their development can easily be measured by means of the People Change Scan, the score of which indicates the satisfaction of the employees and whether they are in the right place in the organisation. Everyone gets a score of 0 to 10. The People Change Score then divides them into four groups: transformers, changers, followers and laggards. In addition, the scan provides information about people’s ability to change, so that you know whether or not there is any point in making the desired change. In this way, you can use the appropriate transformation method. We are convinced you can only change and transform organizations if people change along with you.
For a transformation of a team or the entire organisation, we start with the leading group of people who have the highest People Change Score: the transformers and changers. These people are most willing to undergo transformation and change. As with the Net Promoter Score, you focus on the most enthusiastic people.
Next, you will bring the followers onto the paved way. Only then you will look at whether the laggards have changed their minds – because that does happen in a changing organisation – or whether they would be better positioned in another organisation.
Hence, with the People Change Score you have a rational approach: where do we stand, what can the people do, what are the best steps and how can we best take them?
Focus on change capacity
At one of our clients, all of their one hundred employees have done the scan. Yesterday I had a meeting with the manager of one business unit. There, I could immediately provide his and his management team’s figures and we can discuss where they are at that moment. Immediately, it is very clear what he can do to improve the leadership, the teams, the people and the entire organizational culture. The scan also provides information on how everyone experiences the organisational structure and what changes they would like to see.
Your staff does not have to do anything anymore. Just like the scale in the gym, the People Change Score gives you and your people a single number. Normally, a company needs a separate scan for each level, each with a different model behind it, which makes it very complex. The People Change Score summarises all of this in a single digit, which you use at all levels. It’s an indicator for CEOs, but you can also zoom in on general communication about the transformation or any other specific level.
If everyone in the organization performs the scan at the beginning of the year, the CEO, HRM and the executive have insight for the whole year. The scan is taken online and so easy to perform that you can easily apply it every quarter or even every month when you are going through an organisational change.
Focus on changing every day
When an employee wants to change themselves, they want to know how their change is progressing. That is why they can use the People Change Scan every month or even every day and receive feedback every time on where they stand and whether it fits in the direction in which the organization wants to grow. With the results of the scan, they also have information to pay attention to. At the same time, you have information at the highest level about how the organisation as a whole is doing. So far, I have not found any other measuring instrument that allows you to continuously measure the development of the people, the managers, the culture, the teams and the entire organisation.
More than a thousand people from large and small companies have now used the People Change Scan to continuously find out what the right approach to change is.
Diversification of focus
A large customer asked us to what extent their employees were ready for the new organizational structure and transformation they had in mind. We had all 500 employees carry out the People Change Scan. In the commercial department, the new network structure fitted in well. But not, for example, in the operational department, where they repair parts with a checklist. Here a clear top-down structure was desired, and the staff could not change into the desired change direction. The customer chose to diversify the transformation and did so successfully. This because they realized that it is essential that you specifically choose which intervention you make with which group of people. Each manager of the client was allowed to develop and implement his own change plan with his management team, based on the People Change results. After that, as the last step of integration, the new knowledge was recorded and secured.
Transforming as an opportunity
Our goal is to have all transformations start with a People Change Scan, so that people and organisations can work together on the transformation. That offers the greatest chance of success. Then we want to keep track of the employees during all these transformations, because people change. Luckily so. If that happens, we will provide more successful organisations with happier people who are more in place and whose potential is being fully exploited. In that case, a change is no longer a threat, but an opportunity.
An opportunity for your organisation?
It is possible that we guide you during each People Change Scan. But employees from your organisation can also learn to use the scan themselves and learn to interpret the results. Consultants and coaches who supervise change processes can also learn how to use the scan for their clients. Learn how to apply the scan yourself and develop the skills for transformation in one of our learning modules at the People Change Academy.