Strategic alignment for enterprise change

Strategic alignment in change management planning is one of the most important aspects in change implementation.Building change management capability requires an organisation to align all its business units with the change strategy. Contrary to some suggestions that employees do not like change, survey has shown that they value change management. If change is not properly managed, it is often resisted.

Robert Mandeya

Once planning and alignment is sorted your change team is ready and willing to take your organisation to the next level. But before heading down the road to building change management capability, it is critical to align your efforts with your organisational objectives

Two different approaches

Many organisations make great progress with change over long periods of time without ever reaching that critical moment when they switch gears and begin growing change management as a capability. This is because there are two different approaches — project-based change management and capability building — and each require a different strategy. To shift successfully, you must first align your thinking around your ambition, change maturity, enterprise change strategy, development plan, and much more. Without this, is like firing without aiming because you don’t have a target. It is important to start with a strategic intent.

Define your ambition

It is important to understand your compelling reason for change, the “Why” for building change capability in your organisation. Does your organisation grasp the connections and differences between project-based and enterprise level change? Have you defined your future desired state? If your change leaders, leadership and others are misaligned, your efforts will be maligned too.

Gauge your maturity

Where does your organisation stand today? How do you rank in each of the 5 capability areas? Maybe you have socialised change management very well, have good application and competencies, but lack leadership and standardisation. Or at least you think so. Measuring your precise progress and maturity in each of these important areas is the only way to accurately inform your planning.

Change management strategy

The organising framework for building an effective enterprise change management (ECM) strategy by Prosci includes five critical areas or levels: leadership, project, skill, structure, and process. Developing your unique ECM strategy map includes creating tailored plans and tactics for each of the five areas mentioned above, enabling you to make strategic decisions.
This also helps you brainstorm specific tactics for getting started, building momentum, and sustaining change capability. The result is a detailed and targeted planning document, which you can follow well into the future and check your progress along the way.

Identify actions

What steps will you take in the short term? What does your monthly roadmap look like? Who will execute what and when? Strategic alignment helps you capture and consolidate specific action items into a single list, and then prioritise and assign those key actions to others.

Plan your communications

Again, what’s your compelling “why” for building change capability within in your organisation? Strategic alignment clarifies the importance of communicating about change management and enterprise change management within your organisation, and helps you develop key messages, talking points, and elevator speeches to share with others.

Building change capability

Organisational agility has become a strategic imperative for many organisations. Change is bigger, more complex, more cross functional, and more unpredictable than ever. As you commit to building change capability in your organisation, or restart a misguided effort, planning is an essential first step to ensuring that your strategy clearly aligns with your goals and unique needs. This will enable you and your organisation to move forward with confidence.

Mandeya is a certified executive leadership coach, corporate education trainer and management consultant and founder of Leadership Institute of Research and Development (LiRD). — robert@lird.co.zw/ or info@lird.co.zw, Facebook: @lirdzim and Mobile/WhatsApp: +263 719 466 925.

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