Like it or not, change is an irresistible force

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Patty Glines-Kotecki’s title with Spectrum Brands is Organizational Effectiveness Leader, but she’s a social scientist at heart. As such, she likens the 15,000-employee organization she works for to a laboratory.

During the recent CultureCon event at the Madison Concourse Hotel, she spoke on building a change-adept culture and, in so doing, offered lessons from a change manager. Her basic message is an oft-repeated one: change is inevitable. Are you ready to manage it, especially as it becomes more and more complex?

Another part of her message is that while change is inevitable, well-managed change is not. She offers a simple model for change management that is heavily dependent on continuous learning for managers, which might meet with more resistance than the actual change itself, and she offers ways to do battle with the inevitable barriers to change.

Those barriers can be formidable, as about 70% of all change initiatives fail, a benchmark figure from Prosci, an organization that certifies change management and conducts a great deal of change-management research. While there are numerous models for change management, Glines-Kotecki’s preferred method involves a three-pronged process:

  1. Preparing for the change, which includes a stakeholder assessment of who is impacted by the change and an evaluation of resources to make it happen;
  2. Managing the change with executive buy-in, communications to build awareness and desire, and training to develop the skills needed to make the change;
  3. Reinforcing the change as the project goes live. This is where you monitor outcomes against success criteria, take corrective action, and (hopefully) celebrate project success.

These methods are being tested because at the time of her presentation, the Middleton-based consumer products company was in the process of divesting some of its business portfolio. Also, the company has a new CEO, which reflects another big change for the global organization. As a result, it has established a Transition Resource Center to share information and support employees through change. Videos are available on “Managing Through the Change Journey,” and coaching worksheets offer tips.

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