Reducing the gray area in oranizational change

Organizational transformation is a hot topic right now. Transformation comes in many forms. It can be anything from major business process re-engineering, to dealing with disruptive technologies, to the more typical transformation required to maintain an effective organization in an ever changing business environment. Every day executives evaluate where they want to take the organization and the path from where they are now, to where they want to be almost always involves some type of change. Understanding the implications of decisions and how change ripples across the organization, as well as developing a core capability to support ongoing projects is required in order to maintain a high performing organization.

Over the last few decades it seems as though the pace of change has dramatically increased. Innovation and the level of connectedness and collaboration have made this change feel like a snowball running down a steep hill gaining in size and speed. New entrants to the market place, rapidly changing customer trends, and ever evolving compliance requirements have further complicated the organizational operating environment. The collective outcome has been that in order to be effective, organizations have to become masters in the art of organizational transformation.

The increase in the pace of change and the importance of organizational agility in the face of this change, has led to the development of a series of trends in organizational training and thinking around best practice. From ITIL, to PMBOK, to the various Enterprise Architecture methodologies; executives, managers, technical staff and knowledge workers are all looking for a means to deal with the change. Large complex organizations have a significant hurdle in their path to transformation that results in large swaths of the organization across functional areas (IT, Finance, etc) to have a great deal of gray area associated with them and no real integrated understanding. This gray area may include significant risks that are unaccounted for and obscure significant improvement opportunities. In order to achieve the type of agility and insight into the organization to facilitate change, there must be a concerted focus on the thin layer of information that really drives decision-making. Having the ability to make these decisions is only useful if you can then act on the information to meet evolving requirements. This is where focusing on core transformational skills including planning, communicating, productivity and negotiation skills required to achieve value for the organization come into play. Leading change should be an integrated effort that includes domain expertise across many areas, the ability to execute individually and in teams, as well as dedicated systems that help inform and support change within the organization.

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