Change Readiness: ‘Perceived’ Readiness versus ‘Actual’ Readiness Featured

1. What is ‘Change Readiness’?

Organizations execute projects and fail to assess whether they have the right conditions, adequate resources and right set of attitudes to support and sustain the change being delivered by the project. Change readiness analyzes and assesses the preparedness of an organization’s conditions, resources and attitudes to support and sustain the change. It is pivotal for an organization to assess its readiness levels before implementing any change.

  

2. ‘Perceived’ Readiness versus ‘Actual’ Readiness

The term ‘readiness’ can be highly subjective depending on the lens you are using to analyze it. For example, if you view ‘change readiness’ from the perspective of the project team of sponsors, the perceived ‘readiness’ will be different when viewed from the perspective of the end users. Hence, a holistic assessment that is backed by tangible data is imperative in determining the ‘actual’ change readiness of an organization.

Let us understand this example with a scenario. A public utilities company took a strategic decision of implementing an ERP system across all its locations in North America to reduce costs and increase its operational efficiency. A ‘change readiness assessment’ was carried out as a part of portfolio management. This assessment analyzed the physical resources (such as finance) and technology/support resources (such as infrastructure and required technological skills). The result of the assessment indicated that the organization was ‘ready’ to implement and adopt the change. This implementation would take two years to complete and the final rollout would be preceded by a pilot rollout in four locations.

During the pilot rollout, the company received a huge setback as user adoption levels were much lower than anticipated, employee morale had dropped drastically and most importantly the anticipated increase in operational efficiency was nowhere close to the desired target. In addition, the managers and project team reported lack of cooperation and commitment from the impacted staff.

What went wrong over here? The company had done a ‘change readiness’ assessment and that organization was ready to embrace and adapt the change, then why were the desired results not achieved?

The answer is that the ‘change readiness’ assessment missed out on two crucial components of change readiness in any organization – people and culture. Therefore, there was a huge gap between the ‘perceived’ change readiness and the ‘actual’ change readiness. The change readiness from the perspective of the various stakeholders was never taken into account. Even though the company had the required financial resources, infrastructure and required skills, the ‘people’ were not ready for adopting this change.

Being a public utilities company, the majority of the staff had been working with the company for over 15 years and was in the age group of 40-60 years. This was a huge change for them – the company was going from paper-based processes to ERP and most of the impacted staff were not comfortable with technology given their age groups. The project team had not taken any steps to mitigate this risk and this explained the low user adoption levels.

Also, this ‘change’ had been implemented as a top-down strategy with little communication about the reason and need for change. Most of the employees, who had been with the company for over 15 years, had an emotional value attached to the company and felt that they were not a part of the ‘process’ and hence didn’t relate to it. This explained the lack of commitment and resistance.

The pilot, therefore, could not attain the desired level of operational efficiency. The company had to invest resources and additional finances to re-evaluate the company’s change readiness and take necessary steps to manage resistance, and increase user adoption levels.

In this scenario, there was a huge gap between the ‘perceived’ change readiness and the ‘actual’ change readiness. This is a common problem that is faced by many organizations that go through change. When an organization implements a change initiative without conducting a thorough change readiness assessment, it risks failing to sustain the change due to lack of readiness and also risks failing to deliver the intended organizational benefits. In addition, without a change readiness assessment, an organization cannot identify and address potential obstacles and sources of resistance on a timely basis.

Therefore, a holistic ‘change readiness’ model is imperative for any kind of change transformation.

 

In a future article, we will discuss the Change Readiness model that Conceptia uses on its engagements.

Last modified on Sunday, 01 November 2015 16:19
Rate this item
(0 votes)
More in this category: Growing an organizational culture »

735883 comments

  • vendita proditti alimentari

    What you observe along the roadsides in Ohio can earn you shake your head in shock.
    There are a large amount of different attractions
    that will definitely make you stop and stare. These are some just some the more interesting ones and where you find these animals.

    posted by vendita proditti alimentari Monday, 24 April 2017 20:58 Comment Link
  • panasonic hje120 review

    This is really interesting, You're a very skilled blogger.

    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more
    of your great post. Also, I've shared your site in my social networks!

    posted by panasonic hje120 review Monday, 24 April 2017 20:57 Comment Link
  • roblox hackers wiki

    This is a type of premium membership that Roblox provides, and members of Builders Club are
    given a daily allowance of Robux.

    posted by roblox hackers wiki Monday, 24 April 2017 20:54 Comment Link
  • Mobile Legends tricks

    It's a popular feature that Samsung aand LG phones havge incorporated into their Android skins years ago,
    so it's nice (and about time) Google is including the same functionality inn its own software.

    posted by Mobile Legends tricks Monday, 24 April 2017 20:51 Comment Link
  • Itamar Serpa Fernandes

    I think this is among the most important info for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The site style is great, the articles is really great :
    D. Good job, cheers

    posted by Itamar Serpa Fernandes Monday, 24 April 2017 20:48 Comment Link
  • xxxxx

    Hi, all is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing information,
    that's actually excellent, keep up writing.

    posted by xxxxx Monday, 24 April 2017 20:48 Comment Link
  • sky customer service

    I go to see everyday some web pages and websites to read articles, however this website
    gives quality based writing.

    posted by sky customer service Monday, 24 April 2017 20:47 Comment Link
  • Sopot ​pozycjonowanie seo

    great post, very informative. I'm wondering why
    the other experts of this sector do not realize this.
    You must proceed your writing. I'm sure, you've a great readers' base already!

    posted by Sopot ​pozycjonowanie seo Monday, 24 April 2017 20:44 Comment Link
  • spokanemissionperio.com

    It's awesome in favor of me to have a website, which is good in support
    of my knowledge. thanks admin

    posted by spokanemissionperio.com Monday, 24 April 2017 20:42 Comment Link
  • sex

    Hello would you mind sharing which blog platform you're using?

    I'm looking to start my own blog in the near
    future but I'm having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for
    something unique. P.S Apologies for being
    off-topic but I had to ask!

    posted by sex Monday, 24 April 2017 20:42 Comment Link

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

back to top