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The winners accurately determine when a change is major and thereby worth special implementation effort. They know that every change does not require the same level of implementation effort. They know that focused change management is required when the change is major, when there is a high cost of implemen­tation failure, and when there is high risk that certain human factor could result in implementation failure.

There are numerous factors that are important when estimating the risks to successful implementation. Of the major risk factors, three of them standout as being the most important. First, how strong is the commitment of those individuals with the power to legitimize the change? Next, is the cost of change perceived to be greater than the cost of the status quo? Finally, how clear is the definition of the future state at a strategic and tactical level?

Without sufficient commitment, the change should only be treated as an idea that is being promoted by a change agent(s), and significant resources should not be invested in the change until an executive sponsor has committed to the change.

Stop the change project, if the cost of the change is greater than the cost of maintaining the status quo. Without sufficient pain to justify the change, the cost of change will only detract from more important business issues.

If you don't know where you are going, then stop until you have agreement on where you are going

The winners are not only capable of enabling organizations to initiate change; they are also able to build the resolve necessary to sustain the change.

When the resolve to change occurs late in a situation, it is due to current pain. Current pain is easy to surface and for people to understand, but it only allows for short-term tactical action to be taken. When the resolve to change is generated early, it is due to anticipated pain associated with an anticipated problem or anticipated loss of an opportunity. Responding to anticipated pain provides the time necessary to make strategic moves, but it is more difficult to convince people that they must take action.

The timing of resolve to change is essential; it can occur during either the anticipated or current time frames. If this commitment to act is formed too early, it won't be sustained; if it's formed too late, it won't matter.

The winners know that top management's issuance of directives is not synonymous with successful implementations. They under­stand that they must identify and orchestrate key roles in the change process that are essential to successful implementations.

There are five key roles in major change process. The initiating sponsor is the individual or group who has the power to initiate and legitimize the change for all the affected targets. The sustain­ing sponsor is the individual or group with the political, logistical, and economical proximity to the targets. The change agent is the individual or group responsible for implementing the change. The change target individual or group who must actually change. And finally, the change advocate is the individual or group who wants to achieve a change but who lacks sufficient sponsorship.


Part 1  Part 2   Part 3  Part 4  Part 5  Part 6  Part 7

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