Change Maturity: How Does Your Business Measure Up?

When it comes to change management, change maturity is a key issue. Recent experience has shown me that it is not only important to consider the “now” in terms of readiness for change but also how mature an organisation is in terms of its approach. We’re very good at thinking about operational readiness and will assess how capable, informed and prepared people are for change. However, we’re not always good at looking at the bigger picture in terms of the culture of the business and this can be crucial to the successful adoption of a new process or system.

This became particularly apparent during a recent global project I worked on to implement a new ERP system. As the business change lead, I planned our change approach in detail to maximise awareness and buy-in to the new system. We worked hard to communicate thoroughly what was happening and why; we had a detailed training approach before go-live and measured the individuals’ and teams’ readiness for the new system using surveys and workshops. But when it came to it, we still had adoption issues. Why?

Well, it turned out that many of the issues related to the embedded culture of the business. They had been formed through acquisition and had not yet created one way of thinking and working. This disconnect wasn’t helped by the fact that teams were based in different countries including Australia, Netherlands, Norway and the UK. The range of different cultures in place led to disparate ways of thinking and tackling change and a variation in the processes being used by the teams. This in turn created issues with their maturity when it came to delivering and embedding change.

Further investigation and research suggested that there are several key areas to consider when it comes to the change maturity of a business:

  • Having a robust, business wide communication approach and process
  • Ensuring active and visible sponsorship from the right level of the business
  • Implementing key stakeholder management processes to engage the right people at the right time to make sure the desired changes are made using the most appropriate change management methodology
  • Providing good, clear training, adapted for different styles and audiences
  • Understanding the need to implement measures that sustain the change

Measuring elements of each of these aspects using a set of defined criteria can help to identify areas that a business needs to focus on if they want to achieve significant and successful change.

At Kwatee, we’ve developed a change maturity assessment that can be used as a facilitated tool to help you identify any areas of focus for your business. In fact, we used this method with another team within the same business and they found it an incredibly useful way of identifying steps they could take to better prepare them for embedding and sustaining change. An effective and versatile tool, the assessment can be used with teams, small businesses or large organisations and is a fantastic way of preparing for future change.

If you are interested in finding out more about how our Kwatee experts can help you enhance change maturity within your organisation, then please contact us.

Liz Brown