“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”
- Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking theory of evolution was certainly not restricted to species in the wild. Adapting to change in any corporate environment is fundamental to the success of any organization and its employees. Achieving this success depends on a key ingredient – appropriate application of change management that focuses on increasing levels of commitment to change and decreasing levels of resistance. Our group perceived the ‘Global Tech Change Simulation’ to be reflective of real life organizational change as it recreated a business scenario that needed to follow a multi-step process in a timely and sequential manner in order to have a successful outcome. There are challenging barriers to change which include acceptance, adaption and resistance, and each obstacle requires the use of change leadership and best practices to guide an organization through such a transition. Our Approach: What Worked
Our group was aware of how essential it was to follow the seven-step Experience Change Model and categorized each tactic according to our analysis of where it belonged within the model – see Appendix A. We started our simulation with balanced participation through stakeholder mapping to ensure that key stakeholders in all departments understood the need for change. Stakeholder mapping allowed us to identify change agents who helped build an interdepartmental coalition that had enough power and influence to successfully lead change efforts. It also branded helpers, bystanders and resisters, which meant we could classify targeted communication tactics for each group. Before creating a vision and strategy, we set up interdepartmental meetings that included all department heads. This integration of all business units enabled us to obtain input from various business perspectives, creating common short-term and long-term goals. This important maneuver built a coalition that united the organization and resulted in a tightly knit team with a shared vision. Furthermore, we achieved substantial buy-in by re-communicating the new vision and strategy at every stage of the alignment and execution process. This tactic reinforced the importance of change and clarified any issues regarding comprehension of the process; both of which are required before change can successfully occur. Our Approach: What Didn’t Work
The simulation, while very insightful and a great learning experience, posed some inherent challenges. Our group was disciplined and organized from the onset and set forth a strategy to prioritize all the available tactics in the best sequence that we saw fit. We spent a substantial amount of time analyzing and discussing correct placement for each tactic; however, when it came time to actually inputting decisions, we second-guessed our initial assessments. This led to indecisiveness borne by a lack of confidence in our original analysis. Moreover, we took a very myopic approach to the game, which was time-consuming and did not consider the lost opportunity costs of pricier tactics. We thought we could obtain cost efficiencies by implementing many low-priced tactics that would produce better value for the money spent, rather than inputting costly tactics that would greatly reduce our budget and may not yield as many buy-in points. Ultimately, our thrifty mindset did not benefit us in the long-run when we were under time pressure to make decisions and finances did not even end up factoring into our final decisions. Perhaps our largest error and biggest learning opportunity came when we starting implementing tactics unrelated to the behavioural change strategy. As time ran out and we felt pressured to input decisions, we deviated from our original plan in a desperate attempt to earn points, which had dire consequences as we lost buy-in from the...