Take a look in the mirrors – and make your change programmes more effective

By | December 21, 2006

Many organisational change programmes fail. This is indisputable fact, but the reasons for failure are often less clear and will depend on who you ask. Failure is often attributed to insufficient investment, yet occasionally even over investment can contribute to reduced success. Lack of senior project sponsorship can be a contributing factor, as can lack of middle management commitment. Initiative overload regularly takes the blame.

So why then do change projects fail so often?
There is one common link in all underperforming change initiatives – people within the organisation fail to make the permanent behavioural changes needed to embed the change, so the organisation does not learn.

What’s behaviour got to do with it?
In organisational change terms behaviour is everything, but often organisations are seduced by other ‘solutions’:

  • Enterprise wide software is purchased (often at huge cost) and assumed to be automatically transformational
  • Major ‘sheep dip’ training initiatives that focus on the hype of being different
  • Looking at values development from the perspective of laminated cards and the CEOs exhortations

Yet none of these interventions can work without real and lasting behavioural change, and often the behavioural change expected from your employees is underestimated or even ignored.

Without fully understanding what it is that you expect to change, properly communicating those behaviours and embedding them within your performance management framework it will be difficult to implement successful change in your organisation.

So it’s about communicating what we want to change?
Almost! It is critical that everyone understands what is expected of them, and those expectations need to be explicitly expressed in terms that everyone understands and can relate to their day to day activities. However, communicating the changes needed out to employees isn’t enough.

Have you ever seen a video recording of yourself and been surprised? The person depicted doesn’t seem to look, or sound, like you at all. Yet when you look at the other people on screen they all seem to be fairly and accurately represented by the video. Why is it that you come across so differently on tape?It’s far more pertinent to ask why everyone watching the film feels exactly the same way you do.

So?
We don’t always perceive ourselves and our behaviours in the same way as others do. Individuals can have blind spots about their behaviour, and can portray different sets of behaviours to different groups. Understanding those perceptions is key to the greater self awareness which is needed as a catalyst for real and lasting behavioural change.

Communication about behaviours needn’t be a one way process, telling people how to change. In order to effect real change people need feedback. Feedback from your manager is great, but structured, focussed, rounded feedback from a variety of sources is much better. That’s where 360°Insight™ comes in.

By building a set of behavioural indicators based on your organisational context and initiatives 360°Insight™ clarifies your behavioural expectations. From there we can engage with your employees to understand and create a debate around behaviour. 360°Insight™ also provides your organisation with invaluable information about behavioural norms and trends within your business.

Is it right for us?
360° assessment is a very powerful tool, unlocking the reality or behaviour in your organisation. Implemented well it can prove transformational in how people behave and work with each other, and in providing a platform for enhanced personal and organisational development. Implemented badly its power can be damaging. That is why Predaptive developed 360°Insight™ which goes beyond the simple mechanics of 360° review to ensure that the process matches your organisational context and engages employees to provide a safe and developmental environment.

360°Insight™ has successfully been employed to add lasting value into projects such as:

  • Embedding corporate values worldwide
  • Creating a leadership cadre
  • Understanding and developing management populations
  • Measuring behavioural change following training
  • Assessing competencies
  • Supporting coaching

 

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