You are managing an enterprise social network project? You are a Chief Digital Officer wishing to give every employee his own digital workspace? You are a General Manager seeking to leverage collaboration to boost your company's efficiency? All these projects and many others necessitate change management.
In his best-selling book "Leading Change", John Kotter, Harvard Business School professor and a recognized authority on change management, spotlights eight key change management stages. We take a close look at each of these steps and their application in the framework of a collaborative project.
Despite what we often hear, new enterprise social networks (ESN) are not automatically successful!
For years many people have claimed that an appealing application with user-friendly ergonomics is sure to find wide, spontaneous (and above all durable) user adhesion - provided of course it is useful, an important attribute recognized by all.
A representative of one software company that shall remain unnamed has gone even further and advises: "Go ahead. Take the leap, you will grow wings!" In other words, he tries to justify an absence of clear strategy on the grounds of serendipity, convinced that users will make happy, unexpected discoveries.
Yet in 2013, Gartner poured cold water on this exaggerated enthusiasm by revealing that "the success rate of the 'deploy-and-pray' approach is just 10%".
It has become very clear that such projects necessitate reorganization, changes in working habits and more effective cooperation, all of which are disruptive and require effective change management.
Some ideas about change management are widely accepted, such as quick-win strategies that aim to achieve some rapid success and thereby attract a large following of users.
However, quick wins correspond only to the fifth of the eight steps identified by change management theoretician John Kotter.
It is a serious mistake to overlook the other steps all of which are indispensable. Why use only part of a winning formula?
Kotter's eight steps provide a structuring framework that embraces every dimension of disruptive projects in which the challenges, organization and human factors are all very important.
In other articles to be posted soon, we will help you discover or rediscover each of these eight steps and examine them from the specific viewpoint of implementing collaborative services.