The first error in change management is failing to emphasize the gravity of the situation. Failure to create a strong sense of urgency causes a change movement to lose momentum before it gets a chance to start. Establishing a true sense of urgency without creating an emergency is the first objective achieved to overcome the routine of daily business.
So before you can get buy-in, people need to feel the problem. People aren’t going to consider anything until they are convinced there is a problem that truly needs to be addressed.
On this topic, a story called “Gloves on the Boardroom Table”:
A large organization had an inefficient purchasing process, and one mid-level executive believed that money was constantly being wasted with each of the organization’s factories handling their own purchases. He thought there could be tremendous savings from consolidating the procurement effort. He put together a “business case” for change but it went nowhere. His boss said that senior executives didn’t feel it was truly a big problem, especially with so many other daily challenges taking up their time. So the manager had an idea: he collected the 424 different kinds of work gloves the factories collectively purchased and tagged each one with its different price and supplier. He carted the gloves in and dumped them on the boardroom table before a senior executive team meeting. He first showed the pile to his boss, who was taken aback by this powerful visual display of the waste inherent in having dozens of different factories negotiate different deals for the items they needed! The boss showed the CEO, who scrapped the meeting agenda to talk about procurement because what he was looking at was so memorable, so compelling, and so real. It galvanized the executives to action. Ultimately, they overhauled their procurement process and saved a great deal of money. (c) John Kotter – “The Heart of Change”
The process used here is “See, Feel, and Change“, as opposed to “Analyze, Think, and Change”. The latter is all head, no heart, and often fails to motivate people to recognize the importance of a given problem. It’s too easily forgotten or ignored if it doesn’t feel real.
Short URL & title:
Change management require that people feel the problem — http://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/sqt
Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement and development, change management and turn-around. View full profile