May 31st, 2022 | From our CEO
Must I invest in Change Management? – If yes, how much? A lot of leaders still ask those questions.
For the last many years my advice has always been the same: “Apply change management as you apply sunscreen.”
The value of both change management and sunscreen is intangible and consequences of not applying it seldom visible until in the long term. For change management as yet another failed change project. For sunscreen as potentially life-threatening skin cancer.
Assess Current State: Before you go outside, you should assess your skin. This can tell you can what risks you run by being outside. Lighter skin means higher risk and should determine the SPF factor of your sunscreen. In general, think the higher SPF the better.
Learnings for leaders: Assess your risk BEFORE you start!
Plan WHEN You Go Outside: Determine when you go out during the day. Going outside during lunch hours is not recommendable, whereas mornings and evenings are much better. Remember to check the UV-index of your exact location. Higher UV-index means higher risk of being sun burned and shortens the time you can be in the sun.
Learning for leaders: Respect organizational change intensity. Do not start new things, while change intensity is high. A burned out organization does not respond well to change. Wait until the time is right.
Don’t Spread Your Sunscreen TOO THIN: Often people apply sunscreen in a very thin layer. This decreases the SPF factor. In other times, they only apply it to their arms or their face – or whatever part of the body, they can reach by themselves. However, the sun does not work like that. You must apply a thick layer to the entire part of the body that is exposed to sun. If you cannot reach all parts – then get help. Otherwise, you risk consequences in the long term.
Learning for leaders: Do not underinvest in Change Management! – and remember how the change has consequences outside your own focus areas and what you can immediately see. If not, it will cost you dearly.
Apply Sunscreen with High Frequency and Do It Every Day: Sunscreen lasts for a couple of hours and then you need to reapply it for it to help. Also, you need to reapply it every single day for it to have value. You cannot decide only to apply sunscreen every other day.
Learning for leaders: Stay on the ball to make your change activities stick. You cannot just launch and then forget about it.
In summary, assess your risk before you start your change, respect organizational change intensity, so you do not overwhelm your people, do not underinvest in change management regardless how intangible its value is and stay on the ball to make your change stick.