Change at work is a more complex process than most realise, with between 50-70% of workplace initiatives destined to fail. This is actually unsurprising as while most change initiatives are well thought through on the practical level with the aid of project planning tools like action plans and gantt charts, the people side of change is often overlooked - And change is fundamentally about the people who will have to implement change and live with the results.
Similar to planning tools that assist with organising the logistical side of change, people focused change management frameworks can help us to break down the complexity of change on the people side to increase our chances of success. A people focused change framework that I have found exceptionally useful when navigating change at work is the Stakeholder Change Management Matrix (Figure 1).
Like any good framework completing the Stakeholder Change Management Matrix is relatively straight forward and can result in significant insights, allowing change leaders to better understand change stakeholders, and strategically focus their time and effort on the most critical stakeholder groups as a result.
Influence and Interest
Within the matrix stakeholders are categorised into four groups:
Golden Carrots and Deal Breakers of Change
Once we’ve identified our stakeholders, our change strategy can be further informed by identifying stakeholders’ key needs (desired positive outcomes), and key concerns (the deal breakers that would cause them to object to the change).
Getting the message right: Communication style
A final aspect that the matrix assists us to consider is the style of communication that our stakeholders will be most receptive to:
The most effective change leaders are able to identify their own communication style preferences as well as the communication style preferences of key stakeholders, adjusting their personal communication style accordingly.
Bringing it together
Change is fundamentally about the people who will have to implement change and live with the results. Using the Stakeholder Change Management Matrix to systematically map stakeholders at the beginning of a change project (and periodically reassessing these mappings) in order to tailor your change strategy will undoubtedly create clarity in the complex world of workplace change and increase your organisation’s change success.
HR Business Direction can assist you to strategically navigate the complexities of workplace change, increasing your organisation’s change success.
Alistair Kerr, MPsychOrg; PostGradDip Psych; BPsych
Organisaitonal Development Strategist | Psychologist
07 3890 2066
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