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    « What Do We Do with Change Readiness Information? | Main | The Importance of Assessing Change Readiness »
    Friday
    Jul272012

    Three Paths to Assess Change Readiness

    In an earlier blog The Importance of Assessing Change Readiness we talked about the importance of collecting change readiness information, and some specific things we want to find out.  So how do we get this important information?  
     
    Here are three ways that I’ve found to be effective.  In some cases it’s helpful to use two of these.  Quite often you’ll find it helpful to confirm, and dig deeper into issues in a second pass for whichever path you select.
     
    1. Interviews.  These could be done in one-on-one interviews, or in small groups, like a focus group of 7-10 people.  You’ll want to make sure you get information from representative levels of the organization, and representative groups would be affected by the proposed change.  
     
    Advantages of this method are that it can be done fairly quickly, and you have an opportunity to quickly dig deeper into a response if you’d like to learn more about it.  A disadvantage is that if you don’t select truly representative groups, you may base your action plan on information that is not true for a larger percentage of the targeted change population.
     
    2. Surveys.    Over the years I’ve moved from canned surveys to custom-developed surveys because the latter tend to be shorter, and more quickly get at the heart of the specifics of the change proposed.  Usually I’ll do a few one-on-one interviews or focus groups to get some ideas about common responses people might have.  Then I’ll load those into possible responses for a question, into an automated survey tool like Survey Monkey.  I’ve found it’s also helpful to allow for write-in answers, just in case my representative group did not provide all the possible popular responses.  
     
    Advantages of this method include easy data collection, and automated summarization of data.  Another advantage is that you can collect information quickly from more people than you can in interviews.  One disadvantage is that often only a very small percentage of people respond to survey.  So, I like to emphasize the survey will only take about 8 minutes, and that participation is extremely important as it will shape how the upcoming proposed change will be implemented.  Another disadvantage is that people sometimes worry they’ll be punished for telling some ugly truth about what’s happening in the organization, so it’s helpful to set these surveys up to be anonymous, or posted to an outside third party’s collection website, so that formal company leaders won’t see responses associated with individuals.
     
    3. Workshops.  One workshop, or a series of workshops can provide extremely valuable information that can be immediately acted upon.  Here’s an example.  In a global pharmaceutical company that recently implemented a matrix organization, we hosted two rounds of workshops.  In the first round we collected hopes, concerns, and key technical issues that would likely be encountered when the matrix was fully implemented.  We did this as independent observers/coaches for each of the organizational units that were to be combined.  We summarized the outputs of these workshops, and then had a combined workshop where we presented the collected data to all organization units who would need to work together in the combined organization.  Collectively they discussed the issues, prioritized the work to be done, and developed action plans to move forward that they all agreed upon.
     
    One major advantage of this method is that you can rapidly, and simultaneously surface key readiness concerns and also address them on the spot, or in the subsequent “everybody-together” workshop.  This can obviate the need to do further change readiness analysis and planning in a later change agent meeting, which is typically done for the Interview and Survey methods paths of data collection.  
     
    One disadvantage is that because the outcomes are not totally predictable when groups with diverse perspectives get together to plan, this option may not be for “faint of heart” facilitators.  Overall, I’ve found the benefits of this approach far outweigh the concerns.  The key is for the facilitator to keep his or her eye on the final desired “big picture” outcomes – which would be outcomes like increased technical capabilities and standardization across the company’s newly matrixed 12 manufacturing sites in the pharmaceutical company’s case mentioned above -- and help the group collectively work their way to designing mutually acceptable solutions and action plans for those.
     
    Once the critical change readiness information has been collected, here are some tips at What We Do with Change Readiness Information? on how to analyze it. 

     

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    References (5)

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    • Response
      Excellent Web site, Maintain the fantastic job. Thanks for your time.
    • Response
      Tom Devane & Associates, Inc. - Blog - Three Paths to Assess Change Readiness
    • Response
      Response: seedy
      All of us work with many different options due to this information, which include detailed data.
    • Response
      Response: Telugu Cinema News
      In some cases it’s helpful to use two of these. Quite often you’ll find it helpful to confirm, and dig deeper into issues in a second pass for whichever path you select.
    • Response
      Response: Shyla Salstrom
      I found a great...

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