The drivers for organizational change remain constant, rapid and frequent in today’s competitive global landscape and economic environment.
Every type of organization benefits from increased agility to meet evolving workforce needs, create efficiencies, generate value and enhance customer experiences. These efforts require the adoption of new behaviors and ways of working, altering how people perform their jobs every day. To understand and successfully navigate these dynamics, an organization can focus on building its Change Quotient.
What is a Change Quotient (CQ)?
The CQ is a framework used to assess an organization’s capability, and maturity, to navigate change. The framework can help determine whether your organization has the resources, tools, support, strategy and culture to respond to change.
To start identifying how ready your organization is to manage change, consider the following levels of maturity for each dimension of the CQ:
An organization can mature its CQ by focusing on the components in its change architecture which are comprised of tools, allocation of change expertise and learning. Insights and behaviors include the ability to navigate through ambiguity while building a culture of resiliency. Visionary execution addresses the structural implications of change initiatives and how success will be measured. Take a closer look at each of the CQ dimensions, components and characteristics to identify your organization’s CQ maturity.
The CQ dimension of architecture involves the compilation of tools, the maturity (or existence) of a Change Center of Excellence (CCOE) and the prevalence of available change management training. Data gathering techniques and tools such as surveys, crowdsourcing and focus groups allow organizations to understand employee needs and their responsiveness to change initiatives.
During the Grant Thornton webcast Raising Your Organization’s Change Quotient, 49% of participants indicated their organization does not have an established CCOE, compared to 19% who indicated their organization has an established CCOE that supports transformation initiatives.
A CCOE serves as a structured function that allocates change management expertise and resources to transformational initiatives, programs, projects or departments. Along with coaching leaders and teams, another vital role of the CCOE is to facilitate change skill building experiences. This allows for change management concepts and necessary upskilling to be embedded into an organization’s learning structure.
Insights and behaviors
The CQ dimension of insights and behaviors assesses the capability to process, respond, influence and take action during transformation, transition and uncertainty. For employees to navigate the ambiguity of change, they must embrace the complexity of unfamiliar situations and maintain an open mindset. Examples include team leaders role modeling desired behaviors, evolving organizational culture and committing to learning new ways of working as the organization transforms.
“Organizations should recognize and prioritize the need to include employees and leaders on the change journey, so the change can be done with them instead of the change being done to them,” said Grant Thornton Director of Transformation Sheri Grone. Organizations may be more mature in one component, possess lower maturity in another, and still be strong in this dimension.
Further, organizations must understand the needs of their stakeholders and audiences, to develop tailored strategies that support, motivate and prepare everyone affected to adopt change.
The way that leaders articulate the case for change, and inspire action to deliver change, are essential aspects of the visionary execution dimension of the CQ. Some key questions for organizations to ask are:
- Is the vision of how the company will manage and implement change clear and compelling?
- Have the people, organizational, process and technology impacts of transformational initiatives been fully assessed, with corresponding action plans to address them?
- What metrics will be used to determine success?
“It’s critical that all leaders are aligned and communicate with a unified, inspirational vision. However, it is equally important to translate the change vision into executable actions and plans,” said Grant Thornton Transformation Director Rob Ginzel.
If change readiness plans are not developed until the circumstances arise, then leaders and managers find themselves underprepared with an unsettled and anxious workforce that lacks sufficient knowledge and resources to adopt new ways of working.
The advanced organization prioritizes adoption metrics by understanding the benefits of tracking results, and is committed to continuously assessing, evolving and adapting. A strong CQ in the visionary execution dimension means that an organization is equipped to communicate the benefits of change, understand the structural impacts, and align both project and change management capabilities to transformation initiatives.
Where to begin: build your organization’s CQ
Most of the participants in the Grant Thornton webinar indicated that their organizations need to develop in each dimension of the CQ.
To build your organization’s CQ, take action to:
- assess your organization’s current change maturity against each of the dimensions, then prioritize areas of focus.
- understand the components needed to build an enterprise-wide approach.
- develop your roadmap.
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