We’ve all seen the multiplying factor used in advertisements. It’s a strategic way of highlighting a data point to attract attention by saying that something is [blank] times more [blank] than another. For example, a simple Google search resulted in numerous six times factor results. I’ll share a few of the more obvious ones for fun:
- It's six times more expensive to travel by car than bike. Source
- Roses cost six times more during Valentine’s week in Mumbai. Source
- It is six to seven times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. Source
In this post, I will dig a little deeper into another six times factor: Business Initiatives with effective Organizational Change Management (OCM) are six times more likely to meet or exceed objectives. Source
As an OCM consultant, the idea that projects are more successful with the added discipline of change management is evident. Yet, I was unaware there was an actual formula until I came across some research data published by Prosci. In their two-year study, they determined that when change management is applied effectively on a project, it significantly increases the success rate of the effort by six times.
Of course, it’s obvious to me based on the dozens of change initiatives I have experienced both as an employee of a multinational organization and as a change management practitioner. I’ve seen how failing to consider and plan for the people side can be costly, and change management helps to mitigate that risk.
When project teams focus on the implementation or transition of new systems, processes, policies, and business restructures, but ignore the people side of the change, it results in the falling short of project objectives related to time, budget, and quality. Once an initiative is implemented, if people are not ready for the change you will often see poor adoption rates, productivity declines, and disengaged employees, which ultimately results in a negative customer experience. In a hyper-competitive society, losing a customer due to poor internal project execution is not a risk worth taking, as we’ve learned from our Google search, it is six to seven times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.
Change Management is not rocket science, but there’s a method and a discipline to successfully manage change. It requires people with the skills that can provide:
- Identification, coaching, and support to executive change sponsors
- The involvement of internal and external stakeholders via a change agent network
- Understanding of the different types of change (People, Process, and Technology) and how they impact stakeholders
- Change management, communication, training, and support management delivery
- Benefits tracking and realization
Change is occurring in every organization. New initiatives are launched consistently to improve productivity, increase profits, and increase competitive advantage. Examples range from implementing technology to support a changing workforce, converting processes to ensure regulatory compliance, or transforming a business to support an improved go-to-market strategy.
Consider how employees are the core factor for achieving the intended outcomes of any project. Business initiatives impact how employees conduct their work, their roles, their competencies, their peer and leadership relationships and their self-perceptions. Change management is the discipline that considers these human factors and strives to drive support and acceptance to ensure initiatives deliver expected results and outcomes.
When a business initiative is more likely to succeed and protect employee engagement and customer relationships by simply adding a change management resource to the project team, it seems like the obvious thing to do regardless of cost. At least six times more obvious.
Is your organization considering launching a new change initiative? Do you have the right resources in place to use effective OCM? Online’s team of Prosci certified experts can put your team on the right track, no matter where you are at with your change management program. To learn more about Online’s Business Consulting practice feel free to leave a comment below or click here.