How to Tell When Your Organization Really Is Ready for Change

You get a lot of articles on organizational change management.  They tend to follow the same general format: review James P. Kotter’s framework and note a couple of examples.  That’s all very well for reinforcing what we already know (but often fail to practice), but it doesn’t give us much that is new.

Here are a couple of articles, both from CIO e-magazine, that give us a different spin on the familiar topic.

10 Tips for Change Management offers just that.  It’s a lot more expansive than your typical “10 tips” articles, and it also has embedded in it a pretty nice infographic that is probably available somewhere else on their site.  (Be careful when you read the article; depending on how your browser chucks ads into it, it may appear to have ended after 1 or 2 tips, but give your machine a second to load the ads and then scroll all the way down.).

Moving away entirely from the checklist of organizational leadership actions, the second article, which is focused more squarely on IT, provides a nice new twist on the topic by looking at readiness for technology change.  Most of the Big-4  (are there still four?) consulting firms, plus Gartner, harp on CIOs to expand their “transform” activities.  This article might cause you to take a deep breath and count to 10 before leaping over the cliff.  It shows you all the areas that need to be sorted out before diving into substantial technology changes.  I’ve always found it true that a poorly-managed IT operation doesn’t get any better by having new tools to play with; they just do stupid things faster with more impact on the business.  This article may also give you some more insight into the business architecture, at least of the part that is about managing the IT business.

The questions of the day are:

  • Do you think your organization is ready in these areas?
  • Are you undertaking significant change initiatives anyway?
  • How’s that working out for you? Are there other areas that should have been considered?  Are some of these not so important after all?

Feel free to leave your comments below!

And for a different take on change, take a look at Let It Simmer: Making your Program, Portfolio and Project Management Practices Stick in a Skeptical Organization.  It discusses what you can do when the organization doesn’t really support the changes that you’ve been asked to bring about.



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