When something is new, we reasonably wonder whether it responds to a need, or is just a fad. Change management is not new anymore, but in many places, it is still questioned, faces a lack of consideration and still has to justify its value-add on an ongoing basis.
The legitimacy of Change Management as a discipline depends on multiple factors. It varies among other things from the door it enters the organisation, the way it has been communicated for the first time (if it has at all) and how it is perceived or the overall maturity and curiosity of the company.
What are the challenges to communicating ROI?
Even if we enter the place straight with the structure of a Change Management Office (CMO) or Change CoE (CoE), it doesn’t mean the discipline is recognised or understood. Deep preconceptions, misconceptions, confusion with other functions or even with Change Management from ITIL are quite common and lead to the need of repetitively explaining the purpose, begging for respect, budget and the additional pressure of needing to prove the return for every initiative.
Because organisations have existed for so long without, a CMO or CoE may be considered as nice-to-have or a waste-of-time. “I go far quicker without people asking those questions or getting in the way of implementation”. We’ve all heard this type of comment from Project Managers and others, but what is the point of the huge amount of money committed to this new system if nobody uses it effectively? What is the benefit? This is the point of convergence: concurrently investing efforts in deploying technical aspects and helping people change smoothly and voluntarily their way of working, thinking, or behaving to maximise the overall return of a new strategy or individual project!
We have learnt that many change managers struggle with performing their activities while dealing with the lack of recognition for what they really bring to the table… time and sweat wasted on two battles instead of one. If you face this issue, channel your energy on what matters:
- What is your current context and your objective?
- Who is your showstopper, and who should be your advocate? Is it the same person?
- What will you talk about to grab proper attention?
- What is the best way to proceed to achieve your objective?
Whether you’ve just started or are already far along in making your work visible and legitimate within your organisation, come and get involved in the conversation and gear up with some more tricks and strategies.
Some appetisers to start with…
“... can you imagine the situation in reverse and relieve the pressure by asking those who appointed you what they really expect, how they understand your value and can they support you? Seeking such an alignment is both daring and meaningful. ”
Asking yourself the right questions according to your current configuration is the first step to move forward. What do you want to achieve and who and what prevents you from doing this?
Or can you imagine the situation in reverse and relieve the pressure by asking those who appointed you what they really expect, how they understand your value and can they support you? Seeking such an alignment is both daring and meaningful.
To give you a flavour, we will launch the debate with self-reflection and see how to step into your multiple counterparts’ shoes to express what change management delivers from their own interest to adjust your language accordingly.
Whether you talk figures with metrics, reporting, costs avoidance, risk mitigation etc. or you talk pictures with metaphors, storyboard, or visual appeals, start small and keep it simple, true, and memorable.
Whether you talk lessons learned or games, competition versus co-creation, people contribution or change saturation, choose what answers the fears and motivations. Your calling is to stir up enthusiasm, highlight benefits of on-boarding people early enough to accelerate the return on investment.
Ultimately we’re looking for the organisation to promote your purpose, allocate adequate resources and consider the CMO or CoE as a business critical discipline.
We will be holding a virtual Round Table on communicating the ROI of a CMO or Change CoE for enterprise change leaders – sharing current challenges and experiences and providing actionable insights. If you would like more information about the topic or the session then please contact email@example.com