Managing change from the CIO's perspective

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CIOs who become adept at leading and managing change in an organization move a step closer to becoming business leaders, and no longer just technology stewards. Organizational change, however, is not without its pains; there is no singular road map for managing change, and it is more art than science. Thus, the role of change leader is tricky, as dealing with politics of change requires a variety of skills.

 

The formula for a successful organizational change

Environmental and social aspects also impact the success or failure of organizational change. All changes must overcome the inertia of initial resistance that is common to most organizations. The reasons behind change resistance can stem from a variety of factors both visible and invisible, which complicates overcoming such hurdles. For any successful change, the following formula created by Richard Beckhard and David Gleicher is useful:

 

D × V × F > R

 

D = Dissatisfaction with how things are currently

V = Vision of what is possible

F = First concrete steps that can be taken to realize the vision

R = Resistance to change

 

Quantification of D, V, F and R allow us to predict whether or not the change will succeed. This can also let us know how difficult it will be to carry out the change. The formula is generally used for initiating or planning a change. My experience indicates that if V and F are very strong, generally we overcome R. 

 

When the future outcome is unknown, dissatisfaction does not play an especially large role. We understand this formula as a fairly simple one, and other co-efficients can be worked into the formula for a more exact mathematical analogy. In my view, we should also think of including a factor for "T," depicting “time allocated for the change.” The shorter the duration of “T,” the higher resistance you may face. 

 

The diagram below shows how the outcome of change will differ over a period of time if this is not handled properly. This is necessary to understand all essential ingredients to predict the changes. According to Mary Lippitt’s “Managing Complex Change,” the necessary elements of change are vision, skills, incentives, resources and an action plan; missing elements will result undesirable outcomes:

 

Lack of vision -> confusion

Lack of skills -> anxiety

Lack of incentives -> slow change

Lack of resources -> frustration

Lack of action plan -> false starts

 

While leading a business change, CIOs should be aware of the politics of change as well. Most often, lack of political understanding and insight can result in the death of a change—or the end of CIO's tenure at the organization. Without a strong business sponsor, business change may be very risky, and this has to be factored in. In my opinion, CIOs may be more successful if they partner with business leaders. Keep in mind that, by beginning with end in mind, we have a greater probability of success for any change.

  

Related links: Email CIOs must manage and lead for innovation

How IT can benefit from strategic outsourcing

 

Currently a partner at CIO Specialist Advisory LLP, DD Mishra has more than 19 years of experience in IT. He has played key roles, including IT governance and outsourcing, program and portfolio management, consultancy, presales and delivery for various customers in the UK, India and Singapore and has experience from both the buyer side and seller side. He is a member of the Discover Performance community's IT Strategy & Performance LinkedIn group.

 

This blog was first posted on www.dynamiccio.com and is being reposted with prior permission.

Labels: Leadership
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