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The Six Disciplines Blog


Friday, April 06, 2018

On Becoming A Purpose-Driven Organization: Change Management – Part 2 of 6


In Part 2 of this 6 part series, we dive into the specific process your organization can use to become purpose-driven, with this week’s focus on change management

In Part 1, we focused on asking the basic questions about why your organization exists, in an effort to get consensus on your shared purpose and vision. 

In Part 2, the next important question your leadership team needs to explore and address is “How will we guide our organization to work on our purpose and reach our vision?” In this step of the process, your strategy team works to develop a broad framework that helps the rest of the organization translate the strategic vision into near-term actions. Your leadership team then builds a roadmap of proposed important goal targets and a list of vital change projects. The result is a shared clarity that is used to engage the rest of the organization in figuring out how to do what is being proposed, or how to change what is being proposed. In essence, you’re attempting to clarify “What needs to change – and how quickly?

Creating the Process for Change Management

In this process, your leadership team explores the size of the gaps between what your strategic vision proposes, and where you are today as an organization. You’ll be identifying which gaps are the greatest, which gaps will be the most difficult to close, and reconciling whether closing one gap depends on closing another one first.  This is simply a discovery exercise to prepare you for the next step. During this process, your leadership team will propose three-year targets for each goal in the strategic vision. These three-year targets provide guidance to the rest of your organization as to what pace of change is needed. Keep in mind this is a real juggling act, as you will need to “run and change the organization at the same time” – a tremendous challenge that few organizations understand how to accomplish.

Watch this short video about “Running And Changing The Organization At The Same Time”

Next, your leadership team identifies broad strategic investments (change initiatives) that will need to be made to move your organization toward its vision. Change initiatives are the vital few, multi-year, cross-functional projects that add strategic capability to your organization. It is the responsibility of your strategy team to identify proposed outcomes for each initiative, name the executive sponsor and provide funding (external to operating budgets).

At this point, your leadership team has completed the first two phases of becoming a purpose-driven organization: you have created a strategic vision and a roadmap that suggests the pace and sequence of change. In the next phase, you are now ready to start engaging the rest of the organization, one team at a time. You must engage the hearts and minds of your teams so you can “test” this roadmap by building out supporting plans. Change management is never easy, so team members must be carefully made aware of the proposed changes, challenged to commit to the plans, and given the resources to engage in implementing the plan. This is a critical step because your team members on the front lines will determine whether the roadmap is realistic and what needs to be done in order to get there.

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Since 2005, the Six Disciplines blog offers posts about performance excellence, strategy execution, business coaching, leadership development, innovation, and business process improvement. This blog has received prestigious awards for leadership and management and has been syndicated by several major media sources.