Saturday, February 16, 2008

Choose the Right Change Management Tools

Research conducted over the last fifteen years tracks the use of change management tools and senior management satisfaction with the results. The research yields a few of the usual suspects, but some of those you might have thought passé are highly valued, and a few much-ballyhooed strategies are perceived as less satisfactory.

In the power tool zone, those that are used most often and have the highest satisfaction rating, you will find tools such as TQM, Mission and Value Statements, Core Competencies, Benchmarking, Process Reengineering and Strategic Planning. These are joined by Supply Chain Management and Strategic Alliances which have gained momentum in tandem with globalization. Less preferred tools include Lean Operations, Six Sigma, Offshoring, and even Collaborative Innovation. Customer Relationship Management has made the biggest improvement in its position since 2000 in both the use and satisfaction domains.

It may be instructive to note that staid old Strategic Planning takes home the prize as the most effective and frequently used change management tool. A key value that managers remark upon is that Strategic Planning forces you to take off the blinders and check your assumptions at the door. The “tyranny of the urgent” affects all of us and can rob us of energy, resources, and creativity. Setting aside time for purposeful strategy development allows us to refocus on the bigger picture.

It goes without saying of course (but I will) that no tool will work if it is not the right one for the job and if those who employ it have not been trained.

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