An Institute for Supply Management study revealed that roughly 75% of organizations were impacted by massive supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic. Two years have passed since the outbreak, yet the global supply chain continues to grapple with the after-effects.
COVID-19 propelled supply chain discussions out of the back office and into the boardroom – and highlighted the need to build a supply chain that is robust, resilient and agile.
Customers all over the world have entrusted us not only with their critical supply chain and procurement transformations during these trying times, but also with the thoughtful design and execution of change management programs that drive their success. In a new world of virtual workforces, this has meant working in ways that have deviated from our status quo.
Sometimes change leaders need to change, too.
Until the pandemic hit, we had relied on industry best practice research that underscores the importance of personal, face-to-face interactions during changing times. While we had always conducted some aspects of our change management practice virtually, physical spaces have enabled teams to come together to share thoughts and ideas. Some of the most meaningful insights over the years have come from informal watercooler and lunchroom conversations.
COVID-19 changed all that. New virtual ways of working have compelled us to revolutionize team engagement. We have empowered our customers with tools and techniques that drive change from any location, and we have positioned them to be more intentional toward engagement and inclusion as we work together to improve the effectiveness of change.
Over the past couple of years, we’ve embraced the opportunity to pivot and enhance our change management methodologies, while maintaining our fundamentals, and in doing so, we’ve been fortunate to be able to showcase our own ability to thrive on change.
Here are 5 tips for building a foundation for successful and sustained change.
Gauge Digital Readiness – With the high rate of innovation, and the varying degrees to which end users are comfortable with technology evolution, it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide one-size-fits-all strategic direction. Thus, assessing the digital capability and maturity of your organization is the first step toward reaching the desired outcome.
Embrace Collaboration – Whether in person or virtual, collaboration is key. Transformations that are highly collaborative are better positioned for success. We conduct leadership workshops to align transformation scope, objective and success metrics as well as gain executive sponsor buy-in early and often. And utilizing The Grove’s Strategic Visioning methodology has yielded great results in helping leaders envision the next five to ten years.
Build a Culture of Trust – By creating open communications, implementing regular touchpoints and promoting transparency, all of which builds a culture of trust, you can empower people to act in meaningful ways.
Engage Stakeholders – Project team engagement plays a major role in change management success, even more so in the virtual world where engagement may not come naturally for people. Despite the challenges that exist in virtual engagements, we have seen improvement in project plan clarity and timely information being shared proactively. Online, preparation is critical due to shorter attention spans, and a virtual meeting can be a game-changer when change managers encourage interaction and project a contagious enthusiasm.
Set Milestones and Checkpoints – Frequently reviewing the transformation reduces the probability of unforeseen risks cropping up. If organizations set milestones and check project status and impact along the way, gaps and risks can be spotted and addressed quickly. Measuring projected progress against actual progress helps you continue at your desired pace.
At Bristlecone, we have kept these fundamentals at the center of our change management practice. This has resulted in clear project visions and objectives, increased collaboration and transparency, and expectations being met and exceeded, which ultimately leads to employees being celebrated by the organization that entrusted them with a critical change initiative.
Our holistic, people-centric approach to change management helps our customers decrease resistance and increase adoption. Today, we offer our change management services onsite, virtually, or hybrid – whatever best suits the needs of your workforce.