Author, Consultant, Executive Coach - Helping people and organizations grow into desired results

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Change management - the what and the how

Intranet projects address the whole organization and their holistic focus can offer a unique window into an organization's inner workings. Addressing the organizational issues that can emerge during this process involves both the "what" and the "how" of change management - to implement the intranet project itself and to ensure the organization's long-term success in achieving its strategic objectives. Read on to find out more...

During conversations this morning at Step Two Designs' inaugural Intranets 2011 conference in Sydney some interesting views on change management have emerged that I'd like to share.

The link between intranets and organizational change
A good intranet encompasses the whole of an organization, cutting across departments and functional areas as a tool for internal communication, social interaction and even community-building.

Intranet projects (whether new or renewed) are therefore about much more than "just" the intranet itself. These projects offer a unique window into an organization's inner workings. During intranet projects many organizational issues and internal tensions can swiftly rise to the surface, presenting an opportunity to identify and address key stumbling blocks that impede overall organizational success.

Intranet champions beware! It pays to be aware of these potential added elements and have the means and expertise ready-to-hand to address these issues when they arise. Demonstrating a thorough understanding of the client's context and offering value that goes beyond the intranet itself is a sure way to develop the coveted "trusted advisor" status.

What's more, it reinforces the value of a holistic view and positions the intranet itself as a key tool for change management and organizational success.

Effective change management - the power lies in the "doing"

When it comes to projects (intranet or otherwise), it's worth teasing out the steps involved between the stages of planning/strategy development and actual project implementation.
  1. Develop the project plan/strategy (e.g. new intranet, org restructure, product launch, merger, new CEO/leadership team, etc.)
  2. Understand what needs doing to make the project plan/strategy happen (change management plan)
  3. Identify how to implement of the project plan/strategy (at the level of people's day-to-day behaviours, promoting interactions that get the outcomes needed to ensure project success)
The third bit is really handy. It helps to build change competence in the organization, with people who are able to handle all of the changes involved in this particular project as well as changes in other future contexts. That's value that goes well beyond a single project and makes a meaningful difference in the long term.

Look forward to discussing these and other points during the balance of today and at tonight's social networking event on Sydney Harbour. See you there!

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