(Part V) Applying Eight-Step Methodology to Utility Projects
Updated: Aug 15, 2019
The email campaign followed by face-to-face meetings were received with mixed feelings.
Some found the campaign to be forward thinking. Others found it to be tacky and lacking style, and others went to the extreme of calling it “too little too late.”
In the utility cafeteria, conversations could be overheard regarding the campaign, and the ITSM project. Regardless of how people felt about the OCM methodology, the more they talked to each other, the more they were working out in their collective minds that change was indeed coming. Whether the people in the cafeteria knew it or not, they were already chipping away at Step 8 “Incorporate changes into the culture.” By talking about the email campaign, they were acting as change agents by further socializing the communications we all worked on. The greater result of this was that when the project went live, stakeholders made progress in their Change Readiness. As unpopular as it was in that immediate moment, this application of OCM proved effective and was later requested by other PMs and Project Sponsors.
1. When analyzing stakeholders, remove any personal biases about change resistors – in this particular case executives were overburdened with “what-if” scenarios, and were acting as both the coalition for change and a roadblock simultaneously. They needed other people to coach them out of that space.
2. Use Kotter’s suggestion to celebrate short-term wins as a platform to recognize milestones achieved, contributing teams and individuals, and—most importantly—use the occasion to communicate what comes next in the change effort.
3. The job is not done when benefits are identified, and communication is planned. The OCM consultant needs to continually communicate to change agents and designated communicators why they must follow through on agreed-upon messaging.
4. Employees receive a lot of email. If email is part of a communication plan, follow it up with face-to-face engagement.
5. An awkward feeling is expected. A sense of awkwardness, a lack of immediate acceptance, and negative feedback in the midst of communicating change can easily fool a person to think the effort is failing.
6. The easiest way to self-sabotage a change campaign is for the OCM lead to usurp their role. It is important that executive stakeholders speak for themselves and do not delegate communication.
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