Change resistance is a leading indicator that your next initiative will fail. Consider this Situation…
Background: Corporate is driving a business transformation initiative that requires Operations to embrace new technology, process standardization, and loads of additional data… all in the name of improving margins and shareholder value.
Corporate: “Mr. Operations Manager, here is your new Iaptop. I’m here to show you the new analytic tools that will help you better manage labor, materials, etc. Let’s get started.”
Operations Manager: “I’ve been quite successful in my role for a long time. I know this process better than Corporate. I just know when things are running smoothly. What do you expect me to do with these ‘analytics’?”
Here’s the Rub
In principle, everyone (at Corporate) agrees on paper that technology improvements can enable fact-based decision making. Better, more informed decisions can then lead to cost control, revenue optimization, etc.
But place yourself in the boots of the Operations Manager. Insert your organization’s acronym initiative here ___ (EAM, ERP, CRM, BI). Consider the likelihood that their internal thoughts reflect:
- “I don’t feel equipped to meet these new expectations. I tend to think in a concrete manner – not in intangible charts & graphs. I am hands-on, not back in the shed.”
- “This is just another corporate cake-eater idea. I’ll just tell them what they want to hear until it fizzles out like it has so many times before.
Now, put yourself into the dress shoes of Corporate and ask:
- “Are your ‘managers’ really just lead technicians/operators that have the title in order to align with the appropriate compensation structure? Do you need to start with rationalizing your operational structure/design?
- “Do we truly know the gaps our Operations personnel need to cross? Where do we need to invest in order to close these gaps?”
Mitigate Your Change-Resistance Risk
Process, Technology, Standards, and Policies are necessary, but not sufficient. Elevating your key personnel’s game (modernizing management) often requires new vocabulary, competencies, tools, and expectations. The empowered and accountable Operations champion is better positioned to truly drive change.
Consider our playbook for your next challenging initiative.