Data Dome Resources – White Papers: Managing Organizational Change

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Organizational Changes: How to Manage Right

Improve organizational vitality and efficiency. Get everyone on board and in the right seats.

Tools and services to help your company get through transitions.

[back to top]What Kind of Organizational Change is Needed?

Organizations today continually need to optimize in order to gain competitive advantage, address critical situations and opportunities, and become more streamlined and effective.

Organizational change - correctly managed and implemented - can be exciting and motivating for all involved.

Organizational change has become constant - ubiquitous - permanent. However, "busywork" changes made simply for the sake of change itself will not further your goals.

Change at the organizational level has to be smart change, leveraging your people and your processes to achieve competitive advantage.

One of our nation's greatest accomplishments, the Apollo moon mission, succeeded despite the fact that we were off course 97% of the time. The same principle applies to guided missiles and jet airlines - they are off course most of the time, but their paths are corrected as necessary along the way in order to reach the intended destination at the right time. If you understand your starting point and your destination, and you know your position, you can correct your course as you go.

[back to top]What to Change

Employees are all too aware of today's trends toward downsizing, reorganization, doing more with less - and many companies seem to have made it as painful as possible. How can you manage change and help workers to cope with change? One way to find out what to change - and how best to change - is to make your workforce part of the visioning team.

Managing change works better and is more effective when it is not accomplished via a top-down totalitarian method.

The worst-case scenario is when circumstances require a move from current point A to future point B, one of the organizational leaders sends down the 'law' that has been decided upon - rigid, inflexible, uninformed - thinking that this is decisive vision and good leadership. However, without comprehensive and accurate information, many of these decisions will not be the best ones.

Survey your own employees (and customers) for their opinions! You will get better solutions and less resistance. It is disconcerting that in this day and age, with an educated and aware workforce, that so few companies actually ask the people who really know:

  • What could we be doing better for our company R.O.I.?
  • What could we be doing better for our customers?
  • What could we be doing to make our teams work better together?
  • What could we be doing better to make my team work better?
  • Would I take a comparable offer from another company? Why would I leave?
  • Where would I prioritize differently in my area?
  • What are my solutions?

Some of our best workers, though they are supportive and loyal, may have a hard time sharing criticisms. They have valuable information that needs to be brought to the table. Likewise, surveying customers is not only crucial, it is also a form of advertising.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking the people who spend most of their waking hours working for you. You just can't get better information. Most importantly, if you do ask, the changes are our changes. If you do not ask, they are your changes.

Changes that are perceived as "yours" rather than "ours" (especially if they seem softheaded to the people who actually have to live them) will almost always provoke disengagement, passive resistance and even outright hostility.

Data Dome Inc. offers customized packages to improve organizational vitality, which include an anonymous survey administered by us. Anonymous and confidential surveys administered by an outside entity enable open and honest feedback.

[back to top]How to Implement Change

So if change is inevitable, do you have the right crew for the journey? As has been repeated often, you need to "get the right people on the bus and in the right seats" - and the wrong people off the bus. Unfortunately, deciding who gets off too often relies on hunches, emotions, scattered opinions, and flawed processes.

There are user-friendly tools and simple processes that assist in objective decision-making, but most corporate leaders are unaware of these tools and how they can best be applied. The biggest advancements in HR tools over the past few years have been in the area of objectively identifying the optimum behaviors and motivations for each position. This is information that goes well beyond simply the technical requirements of the position covered by a traditional job description.

The most effective process of organizational change will:

  • Examine what it is needed to reach that next level
  • Objectively apply existing talent
  • Use assessments to find the exact talents needed
  • Identify the missing competencies to be acquired
  • Prioritize communication and trust building throughout the transitions

Effective and ethical application of validated assessments at all four stages of this process is proven to increase productivity, build working teams, encourage effective communication, reduce conflict, promote mutual understanding, and develop an environment for self-motivation even during times of organizational change.

[back to top]But then, what is the best way to help those leaving to discover they are "on the wrong bus"?

Best practices include not only getting the "wrong people off the bus," but getting those very people to really understand why they would not be happy where this bus is going. If the position and the person are incompatible, it is a lose-lose situation for both. If that is properly understood, they can choose - voluntarily - to walk "off the bus" with respect and dignity. That is a win-win result.

Outstanding organizations require a variety of styles to accomplish all that needs to be done. Effective communication between different styles requires a common understanding of what value and competencies each member brings to the table. Communication is also very important to understand how to introduce and implement change, especially for those in the workforce who do not tolerate change very well. We provide assessments and seminars to facilitate such communications.

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