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Organizational Questions

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 11-01-2010 Print

Where are your people? CIOs need to focus on the process by which people actively take on a change in the environment to which they have become accustomed. In any given organization, approximately 10 percent of employees normally reach out for change, while another 10 percent fully reject any change.

CIO Action: Identify the top 10 percent change-seekers in your organization and put them into roles where they can have considerable influence in effecting future strategic change.

What is the impact on stakeholders? During a strategic change, many stakeholders are affected -- from the executives who support the change, to the knowledge workers who must shift to a new way of doing things. Identifying these stakeholders is crucial to understanding how to move the strategic change forward. Once the stakeholders are identified, the impact of the change on each of them must be understood in very personal terms.

CIO Action: Build a formal view of the organizational structure that should exist after the change, so you can get a clear picture of the individual fates of the stakeholders moving forward.

How are decisions made during a strategic change? The decision-making process is different during a strategic change, as governance structures made prior to the change are redesigned and rebuilt to reflect the future realities. An example is the temporary team built to assist in the integration of two companies during a merger.

CIO Action: To have some influence on a decision, take a look at the decisions to be made and list all the stakeholders who either will find themselves impacted, or have information, perspective or expertise about the decision. Reach out directly to those who are in that circle, and make it clear that you want to know which way the decision appears to be heading and what you can do to either accelerate its outcome or help revive the initiative if it is rejected.

What is the impact on key and mission-critical processes? Clearly the impact to mission-critical processes must be taken into account for the change to succeed. Among those processes are change processes, such as identifying, designing, and implementing new systems, plus processes associated with sales, service and support.

CIO Action: Identify the mission-critical processes most likely to be affected by the change, and redesign them as required by the business and other external requirements. Ensure that you are plugged into the committee that controls decision-making on process redesign.

What are the mind-sets of the organization, and what do they need to be? One of the difficulties in strategic change is the resistance of some managers to the idea that cultural mind-sets are to be taken seriously, and yet it is the management of this that most determines the success or failure of a strategic change.

CIO Action: When thinking of mind-sets, make sure that the new mind-set is materially different from the one you want to displace.


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