Know Your Current State

 
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While working with a client a few weeks ago, I was asked a question about organizational change that I knew the answer to, but didn’t quite know how to best explain. This question came up when our team was developing a training session for a new process set to rollout at the end of the month. My co-workers and I were strategizing on the best means of collecting pre-process comprehension data. Simply defined, before beginning a new process, the information that is gathered on how much the participants of the process currently understand. During our brainstorming, one of the stakeholders of the process posed the question: “Why do we need to waste time with pre-process comprehension? Can’t we just begin the training sessions?” I didn’t quite know how to respond to the question. I know that current state evaluation is imperative to successful change, but didn’t know the best way to explain this to him. So I decided to write the explanation out. Below is what I came up with.

Explanation:

Let’s take a second to define organizational change. We will measure Organizational Change as the amount of change (difference between desired and current state) over an amount of time (difference between completion and now). In order to visualize this change, take a second to look at the equation below:

Our role as change management consultants is to help clients achieve the largest possible amount of change in the smallest possible amount of time. In other words, maximize the value of an organization efficiently. If our role pertains to Y2 and X2 , why should we care about Y1 and X1? Well, for one, the equation above doesn’t work without Y1 and X1. Secondly, ideally it is obvious, but not all organizational change plans have a positive result. How do we know if an organizational change is positive without knowing the current state of the organization? This is why knowing the current state of your organization is imperative to successful (positive) organizational change.

When I showed this explanation to the questioner, I could tell that a light bulb when off in his head. At our next meeting, it was clear that he was convinced and onboard with assisting the development of our pre-process comprehension strategy.

If you would like to learn more about how Ignite Consulting can help you define the current state of your organization, click below.