TrendWatcher

Managing Change is More Difficult Than Ever, Top Executives Say

Printer
| More
Change - both anticipated and unanticipated - is rocking the business world and shows no signs of weakening. As revealed in i4cp's 2013 Critical Human Capital Issues study (debuting later this month), issues pertaining to change not only dominate the landscape, but also continue to escalate in importance. In fact, three of this year's top six issues deal with this exact topic.

Critical Human Capital Issues: Change Rankings Globalization and technological advancement are resulting in increasing competition for and growing expectations among customers, and the supply and demand gap for skilled workers continues to widen. Indeed, as the pace of change continues to accelerate externally in the market, the need for agility and resilience internally within organizations has never been more important, at least in recent years.

However, while the importance of managing change related issues is on the rise, the ability to improve in this most vital capability remains highly elusive. In fact, i4cp's research reveals that only 35% of high-performance organizations (HPOs) in this study - those in the top quartile of performers in year-over-year growth in revenue, profit, market share and customer satisfaction - indicate they are highly effective at doing so. And among low-performance organizations - those in the bottom quartile - the story is even worse, with only 13% perceiving their ability to manage and cope with change as highly effective.

The divide between high and low performers
While both HPOs and LPOs struggle with the need to better manage change, the way they go about it varies dramatically:

  • HPOs plan for change with an eye to the future. These organizations have a strong focus on workforce planning; ensuring they understand where the organization is going, ascertaining gaps in critical roles and skills, and ensuring programs and processes are aligned with future objectives in mind. On the other hand, LPOs address change via short-term fixes and reaction to flavor-of-the-day initiatives. The specific topic of strategic workforce planning is so essential to business agility and competitiveness that i4cp maintains it as the subject of a dedicated Exchange (i.e. research working group) comprised of nearly 20 member companies. If your organization is interested in learning more about this initiative - or our other working groups - please watch this 10-minute video.
  • HPOs use effective talent management practices to shape the future. These organizations focus on key elements of talent management (e.g. performance management, leadership development and succession management) in order to equip the business to best meet its future objectives. This is consistent with one of the key findings from i4cp's The Future of HR: The Transition to Performance Advisor study, which revealed how HR functions within HPOs focus less on talent management and more on helping line managers become better managers of talent. In comparison, LPOs are focused more on gaining clarity on the strategy of the business and communicating it internally. Ineptitude in these areas result in efforts in talent management that are not aligned with future-focused goals.
  • HPOs apply metrics and analytics to pinpoint gaps that impede effectiveness and impact. These organizations are focused on metrics such as quality of hire, quality of attrition, and quality of movement. They also apply analytics to the raw data collected in order to help the business make better talent-related decisions. Research from i4cp's HR Analytics: Why We're Not There Yet study provides useful insights into key strategies and pitfalls to avoid with regard to this key topic. In contrast, LPOs are far more focused on efficiency metrics (e.g. time to hire). They are also focused on strategy execution and alignment, however they often lack the leadership and/or resources to see it through.
Over the coming months, i4cp will reveal the top critical issues of 2013 and publish a series of research reports, videos and infographics that will provide deeper analysis into the vital human capital management functions that support them. These assets will outline detailed insights into improving effectiveness and impact in human capital initiatives and strategy.

Comments

The acceleration of change implies impact to two key factors (among many): project execution and emotional considerations. The work is increasingly project work and many organizations have a long way to go toward project and program maturity. One aspect of project work continually gets short changed and that is closure. I was sensitized to this gap in corporate competency when observing all of my kids participating in one theater production after another. They invested months for a two or three night performance; standing ovation, curtain closes, party all night, and then required to return on Sunday to strike the set. It was cathartic for them to reflect, lick their wounds, celebrate new friendships and know the play was over. In a couple of weeks they were ready to do it again.

Companies not only discount the emotional intelligence of closing well, they discount the deliverables that may have allowed revenues and profits to keep up until the next cycle! I believe that poor project execution and poor emotional management will be to factors requiring serious attention in order to adjust and adapt to shorter and shorter life cycles.

Have you studied either project maturity or EI and their impact toward managing change?
Very interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing it. In 2010, we conducted research on EQ and its impactt on leadership... but not necessarity on Change. The following link is to a webinar from that data that discusses three things:1) What emotional intelligence is and what it is not; 2) Applications in the workplace, including case studies; and 3) The ROI for companies of all industries and employees. http://www.i4cp.com/webinar-portfolio/measuring-emotional-intelligence-in-the-workplace

On a somewhat related note, we actually have a study that is about to commence on Global Leadership Development in which was ask questions that get to the most effective practices in developing leaders’ change management skills. While we do not include the "project closure" angle, we will be able to ascertain the correlation of "stretch" assignments (e.g. lead a major project or be part of a global project team) on global leadership development. Hope this helps.
Very interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing it. In 2010, we conducted research on EQ and its impactt on leadership... but not necessarity on Change. The following link is to a webinar from that data that discusses three things:1) What emotional intelligence is and what it is not; 2) Applications in the workplace, including case studies; and 3) The ROI for companies of all industries and employees. http://www.i4cp.com/webinar-portfolio/measuring-emotional-intelligence-in-the-workplace

On a somewhat related note, we actually have a study that is about to commence on Global Leadership Development in which was ask questions that get to the most effective practices in developing leaders’ change management skills. While we do not include the "project closure" angle, we will be able to ascertain the correlation of "stretch" assignments (e.g. lead a major project or be part of a global project team) on global leadership development. Hope this helps.
Add a comment

 Name (required)
 Email (will not be published) (required)
Commenting on this article requires human verification. Please enter the two words in the textbox below before clicking the post button
By posting, you agree to i4cp's Terms and Conditions.