Quick summary: How integration strategies help organizations create an enabling environment for I.T. adoption
This is the fourth article in a five-part series about how change management can help ensure successful I.T. initiatives. Click the links below to read earlier installments, and we will link to the final article when it publishes.
In the last two articles of our series, we talked about our approach to changing more quickly and effectively. We explored our first step, Strategic Alignment (aligning change metrics to your business goals) and our second step, Co-Creation (designing change programs with business teams as delivery partners). The third step in the Logic20/20 approach is all about Integration—how do we go beyond impactful communications and corporate learning interventions (i.e., Communications and Training) to make changes stick more easily over the long term?
Integration is where co-created solutions get deployed to the teams being impacted. Change programs often become communications and training exercises, which are usually short-lived or one-off events that do little to sustain or reinforce change. We believe change happens more quickly and with better results when we invest time in creating an enabling environment for the specific change as well as future changes (strengthening our disciplined “change muscle”).
Is integration the same as go-live readiness?
Integration is so much more than go-live readiness. If your change/transformation efforts focus solely on end-user readiness for go-live, you’ll miss the opportunity to sustain your initiative by institutionalizing it. Most large initiatives require changes to the operating structures, whether they’re updates to SLAs between functional areas, to the JDs representing the agreement between employee and employer and subsequently compensation, or even to the org structure itself. Life science and healthcare companies tend to do a great job at this, just out of compliance requirements, but other industries often fall well short, focusing solely on ADKAR and opening and closing impacts, tailored to the end user but failing on the organizational front.
The importance of psychological safety
A cornerstone of an enabling environment for sustainable change is psychological safety, which allows people to engage with changes with less fear around making mistakes and/or suffering unsupported (unmitigated) losses. Since psychological safety varies across teams, structurally integrating changes within processes, platforms, principles, and people is even more critical for change and transformation.
In a recent study of companies that had undergone transformations, Harvard Business Review concluded that “[t]he firms that listened with intention to their employees and matched their company engagement accordingly achieved transformational success.”
Integration in action
The simplest way to illustrate integration is to apply it to a common business need—changing your recruitment software, for example. Typically, a change impact assessment would reveal a gap in knowledge, skills, and/or mindsets of user groups and a prescription of leadership and management communications as well as trainings to be deployed. An integrated change solution would look at how the recruitment software can be better adopted vis-à-vis the ecosystem of tools and the future plans of the recruitment function and would even extend to a portfolio view of change saturation, identifying areas that are rested and ready for change versus those that are candidates for fatigue.
TLDR: Do more than communicate and train to make change stick.
In the final article of the series, we’ll wrap up our exploration of the steps in our approach to ensuring successful I.T. adoption. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact us.
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Fadi Salah is a manager in Logic20/20’s Strategy & Operations practice.
Beau Platte is a manager in Logic20/20’s Strategy & Operations practice.