Putting People at the Center of Change

As change continues to accelerate, companies create ideas faster, shorten development cycles, and increase the frequency and number of parallel transformation efforts... but tend to overlook a critical limit on their transformation efforts: the speed at which employees can absorb and internalize change.

Employee centricity is essential to create competitive advantage, yet research on over 1,000 companies indicates that transformations, in general, pay little or no attention to the people journey—that is, to ensuring that change initiatives are implemented in an employee-centric way.

For transformation efforts to succeed, companies must develop a granular understanding of their workplace ecosystem and ensure that transformation leaders can remove obstacles to change, mitigate risks, and help employees navigate the demands placed on them. Transparency on both “business as usual” and the impact on employees of change initiatives is of utmost importance.

To enable leaders to better understand organizational and individual change-leadership capacity, we suggest gathering input from leaders’ peers, superiors, and direct reports, in order to

  • determine overall change-leadership strengths and limitations

  • assess individual leaders’ behavior and the gaps between current and potential behaviors

  • identify change champions across the company

  • develop strategies for leveraging leadership strengths

  • create action plans for addressing gaps between current and desired leadership behaviors

To read the full BCG article, please click here.

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