Implementing change in our organization… Ready…Steady…GO! Or…Wait…? Not yet!
“If your goals and your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” This is a statement I like to use in many coaching processes.
It makes people think and at least it brings blocking thoughts to the surface. Thoughts that prevent them from making progress because the end goal is so ‘far away’.
Using the same statement in an ERP implementation is another matter.
And although I have been walking around for 20 years at organizations are at the start of an implementation or are in the middle of an implementation, I am still amazed at the first conversations about how anxious sponsors, managers and employees look at what they can do. Waiting.
Very often that fear is due to negative past experiences during similar trajectories, or also fear of the unknown, reinforced by the horror stories of colleagues.
When companies ask for our help, our first task is very often to take away this fear and unrest. We achieve this by considering a few basic elements that we consider necessary for a successful story, checking them within the organization and, where necessary, taking targeted actions to ‘prepare’ the organization for the program. Our experience teaches us that such a ‘moment of reflection’ more accelerates than slows down the project progress.
To implement successful changes, we build on 3 major pillars: capacity, competence and believe.
These 3 pillars should be sufficiently strong throughout the entire project. Think of it like a tripod: if one of the legs weakens, the chair will no longer be stable. It will be a chair on which you will sit without much confidence and on which you will move as little as possible, for fear of…
So, if your organization is like that chair, then your employees will also have little confidence and they will also move as little as possible take little initiative, for fear of…
To what extent does the organization have sufficient capacity to carry out the implementation? An ERP implementation requires a lot of time and energy for a company. You can partly overcome this by working ‘step by step’. However, this does not alter the fact that the departments involved must set aside a great deal of time over a period for analysis, testing, learning and practice. In addition, employees often take on an additional role as key user, project manager or ‘change champion’ during a process. Are those roles known, have people been assigned to them and are the expectations clear to them?
To what extent are the employees within the organization sufficiently competent to implement the new ERP system? So, this is all about training. And of course, it is important to train employees sufficiently in the new tools and any new processes. But before we can learn those, there is still a long way to go. As indicated above, employees often get an additional role. And this also includes other skills, such as working on a project basis, leading without hierarchical leadership, etc. If the organization pays sufficient attention to this, the employees will be strengthened and stimulated to ‘own’ this new role.
In this way we seamlessly arrive at the third pillar, the belief within the organization that this will be a ‘successful’ process. In this pillar, the primary elements are communication and leadership coaching. Belief in a positive story is also a catalyst for the first 2 pillars. If the organization pays sufficient attention to monitoring capacity, gives clear role definitions and mandates, supports the key stakeholders in becoming proficient in all facets necessary for the implementation, and communicates about this in a good, clear way, then the belief in success will only grow. And that, in turn, will improve capacity and competence.
How do you know if your organization is ‘ready’ to get started? Very easy! Inspect the condition of your 3 pillars. Walk around, question your employees, be open and honest with yourself and work on where you suspect a pillar is too weak.
Sonical can do this with you too! Our expertise and methodology lie in the fast and targeted detection of strengths and pain points. What do you do well, and should you remain doing? Where is room for improvement? And what should you stop doing? We draw up an action plan based on our findings. This way we as Sonical can really connect and work together with you creating a successful story.
Want to know more about this? How do we approach this with other customers, or do you want more information about the 3 pillars themselves? Make an appointment now.
The Flemish Government also believes in our story and how we make organizations stronger in the face of change. That is why they give our customers a strong financial incentive in 2022. If you want to know more about this, we will be happy to provide you with more details.