We are living in a world of continuous change. The time between breakthrough technologies is shorter and shorter. From typewriter to the personal computer to the iPhone, the pace of change is accelerating. Some futurists predict that by 2020 the smart phone will have been replaced. Robotics are replacing workers. Although the pace of change seems fast today, tomorrow we will look back and reflect that the pace of change then was slow. The skills of today will not be sufficient for tomorrow. As organizations we must become flexible, agile, fast learners and accept that what is good enough today may not be so tomorrow.
There are several dimensions to accelerated change. Organizations need to understand their core mission and be ready and flexible to identify different ways of achieving that mission. The what the organization ultimately needs to achieve may stay the same, but the how the organization will achieve this may need to change to be relevant and effective in an ever-changing marketplace. This means that things need to be done differently’ Moving to the new requires looking Aa The future, comparing to the present and identifying the transformation required at the macro level and the supporting initiatives at the micro level that will be required to close the ap. These initiatives require shifts in mindset, sometimes changes in culture and more often than not, changes in people, processes, technologies, and capabilities. This requires not only performance consulting skills to identify the gaps, but also project management, lean skills, and rapid results focus to ensure the right projects are innovative and are run effectively and efficiently. Strong change management skills are required to ensure the people side of change is being addressed.
A commonly referenced statistic states that 70% of change projects fail. There are three components required for successful change to be implemented: leadership, project management and change. Often, we see strong project management and leadership sponsorship and support but not enough attention to the people side of change. Understanding that the natural tendency to change is resistance (even when the change is desired), it is important to focus on this early and often. Organizational change can only happen when individuals change. Sometimes there is strong project and change management, but leadership is not actively and visibly sponsoring and engaged in the change. Leaders are critical in modeling the way for behavioral changes and shaping the culture needed to optimize the changes. Leaders want to do the right thing, but may need help and coaching to do the right thing. And finally, having strong leadership and change management is not enough if the project is not well scoped, designed, managed, and executed. Ms. Szpakowski has spent the last 20+ years focused on all aspects of change acceleration including performance consulting, project management, lean management, rapid results focus, change management, communications, coaching and training and is one of the 1st Certified Change Management Professionals (CCMPTM) in this newly recognized profession.
Every change initiative starts with discovery and identification of changes needed. The gap analysis should start with the desired future state, then looking at current state, and identifying the gap between the two. Starting with a current state analysis often grounds the participants in what they are currently doing, keeps them in their comfort zone, and creates a focus on how to correct and improve what is currently being done rather than questioning and challenging. By starting with a future state analysis, the conversation is lifted away from today and creates more energy and optimism towards innovations, towards future results doing things differently. The current state is then viewed through the lens of the future rather than the past. For many this is counter-intuitive but the results are dramatically different. This gap analysis can be conducted using lean methodologies to ensure the right people are involved, that there is a strong customer focus, and that both data and team knowledge is mobilized to improve decision making. Selecting the right change initiative is a critical step.
Once the change has been identified, leaders and project/change team members need to be identified and sourced and plans need to be developed. The change project can be implemented as a linear project over several months (or years) with detailed project, change plans and regular sponsor engagement check-ins. Another approach can be driven by a series of short 90 day rapid result initiatives during which small teams articulate clear 90 day focused stretch goals, do whatever it takes to achieve these results, step back to reflect on what was learned, and institutionalize to a broader audience. This is a rapid, iterative, energizing approach that unleashes creativity and innovation.
Either approach requires appropriate change management methodologies which can include visioning, change impact assessment and stakeholder mapping, communications, engagement planning, training, sponsor roadmap, and post implementation measurements. Project management will measure whether the project was done on time, within budget and within scope – Change management will measure whether the desired changes are being implemented by the people and measure the results driven by these changes. Training is a critical component of change management. People need to know how to implement the changes and must be enabled to make the changes. People learn in many different ways. Training is not limited to classroom face-face training but can include job-aids, coaching, performance support tools and front line manager support. Instructional design, action learning and using Adult Learning Principles is critical. People may know how to do the changes but, at the end of the day, if they are not held accountable, if their direct managers do not reinforce the new behaviors, change will fail. That’s why having the right project management, leadership and change management is important and must start early in the life-cycle of the change. Accelerating change requires a multi-dimensional customized approach that follows strict project and change management principles, tools, methodologies and process.
Companies can elect whether they just require Appleton Greene for advice and support with the Bronze Client Service, for research and performance analysis with the Silver Client Service, for facilitating departmental workshops with the Gold Client Service, or for complete process planning, development, implementation, management and review, with the Platinum Client Service. Ultimately, there is a service to suit every situation and every budget and clients can elect to either upgrade or downgrade from one service to another as and when required, providing complete flexibility in order to ensure that the right level of support is available over a sustainable period of time, enabling the organization to compensate for any prescriptive or emergent changes relating to: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Information Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing; or Production.
My intent is to partner with you to help your organization be the best it can be in areas you have identified as high priority strategic change imperatives. I bring to that challenge more than 20 years experience in organizational development, project management, change management, performance consulting, lean, and training & development. I have led multiple change projects and am experienced in driving all aspects of the change life-cycle from visioning, change impact assessment and stakeholder mapping, though communications, and engagement planning, training, sponsor roadmap, and post implementation measurements and have been instrumental in developing an enterprise-wide view of change. While specific projects may not, by themselves, have big change impacts on the target audience, in the aggregate, the amount of change may lead to change saturation and burn out. Both a project view of change and an enterprise view of change need to be effectively managed to ensure maximum results. I have experience in taking a global, diverse organization from point A to Z, from where no conscious awareness or knowledge of ‘change management’ exists to where, no project, big or small, moves forward without consideration of people impacts. Change is now part of the DNA and has become “the way we do things here”.
I strongly believe that the people impacted, the subject matter experts, be involved in designing, developing and implementing the changes. This creates ownership, engagement and buy-in from the start. The people in the trenches know the business, they have the answers within them. My job is to pull out the knowledge and ideas they have, that they may not even know they have. This takes strong communication and team process facilitation skills – I have been able to do this successfully at multiple levels within the organization and across multiple cultures. Constraints and challenges bring creativity and innovation. My philosophy is to believe that even if we do not have the answer to the challenge at this moment, there is a way to overcome the challenge and we need to persevere. If the answer were simple, we would already be doing it. Troubleshooting and developing creative results-based solutions to business challenges is a critical component of the work I could do for your organization.
Change implies doing things differently which means people need to learn a new way of doing. We know that people are social beings and learn better together. We know that manager coaching is critical to reinforce behavior change and skill development. Yet there is little appetite for taking ‘time out’ to attend training, limited resources are made available to deliver training and e-learning is used to replace face-face training. To address these issues, we have to be creative and think outside the box. WinLabs and LearningLabs are 2 examples of learning interventions I have designed to address the need for action learning and just-in-time in-the-flow of work training.
This service is primarily available to the following industry sectors:
The Property and Casualty insurance industry is cyclical and profits are cyclical and highly volatile. This is driven by frequency and severity of catastrophes and competitive pressures on pricing. Recently insurance loses (catastrophe) have been low, there is an oversupply of capacity, and prices are competitive causing rates to decline. In the past, much of insurance profits came from investment returns not from underwriting results. Today investment returns are low and profits must come from underwriting. Insurance is a highly regulated industry. In the commercial and corporate P&C insurance markets, most insurance is not an option and is mandated and there is little differentiation amongst insurance carriers. The success of the insurance carrier comes from the portfolio of risks, the appetite for certain risks and not others and how much insurance the company keeps or reinsures. Where there is long tail business, it may be years before knowing whether a particular portfolio is profitable or not.
Claims costs are rising and the longer the duration of the claim, the more uncertainty as to final cost. Technology is already impacting the insurance industry as many of the processes can be automated and fewer employees will be required moving forward. The absolute growth in P&C insurance is not going to come from North America, as this is a mature market, growth will come from emerging markets. In North American, the focus is on keeping the share of the pie or growing the pie with new and innovative products. As we see an increase in types of risks (Cyber and climate), not all risks are insurable. A focus is then on understanding and mitigating the risk. So an insurance company may, in addition to focus on the transfer of risk, may also focus on awareness, understanding and mitigation of risk.