Ken McGee from Gartner Incorporated addressed issues relating to change management and successful evolution. He stated that his company has accompanied the largest corporate and institutional changes and named a few major organisations.
It was pointed out that this is not like any other organisation. In fact, Ken McGee successfully introduced a humorous touch by first paying respect to the awesome task that these individuals fulfil, then stating that the challenges faced are the same all over.
The biggest stumbling block is essentially in the resistance to change. He asked those present “Who likes change?” and interrogated the one person who claimed to enjoy change. He often asked questions like: Who is hearing this for the first time? when referring to the new way things will operate after launching change. Since the room was less than half full, I perceived his praise for the good preparation to be quite incongruous. After all there are thousands of people who will be affected by the upcoming changes and there were perhaps ten percent of that amount attending this briefing.
He pointed out that the corporate changes that fail are those where management insists on adaptation too soon after launching the new package. I was somewhat surprised by his adamant contention that the whole package is indeed very well thought out, well managed and that there is adequate, in fact, generous training being offered.
A second guarantee for failure is the affected persons refusing to attend re-training. He recommended an “emotional freeze” for 30 days after launch, suggesting that after this time period, given a fair chance and adequate support, we may be amazed at how the new system suddenly adapts to our needs and indeed does offer new and better opportunities.