In To Change Your Strategy, First Change How You Think Mark Bonchek and Barry Libert describe the core elements of an effective change management plan:
It seems that everyone these days is looking for a disruptive business model. But a business model is only one part of the equation. Equally important is the mental model behind the business model, as well as a measurement model for both. It’s the combination of mental, business, and measurement models that allows real transformation to occur.
Mental Models. Business Models. Measurement Models. These seem like a good place to start in thinking about the potential revolutionary impact of content management technologies upon business processes and creating a change management plan.
Mental Models. There is an unfortunate “mental model” out in the marketplace when it comes to content management that holds people back. Difficult to implement, costly to implement, and hard to use; these descriptors were probably accurate in the early days of content management. Say the words “Enterprise Content Management,” or mention the acronym “ECM,” and many business executives with very long memories will run for the hills, chased by ghosts of past costly, complex, over-budget and late content management projects. But that’s all in the past. Modern cloud-based content management systems have an extraordinarily high satisfaction level. Ask most executives who have implemented systems in the past five years about their satisfaction and the usual response is “Why on earth didn’t we do this sooner?”
Business Models. Many organizations are in denial about the need to adapt and upgrade their business models to the demands of a digital era. As the digital disruption noose tightens around a particular industry, the tendency is to just double down on what has worked in the past. To just try harder rather than to try differently. Ask Blockbuster whether this worked. Or the newspaper industry. Or Kodak. Or Blackberry. Or. Or. Or. A business model built on pre-digital assumptions won’t hold in the disruptive times ahead.
Measurement Models. Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that "you can't manage what you can't measure." Manual, paper-driven processes are difficult if not impossible to measure, much less improve. They rely on employee “heroes” to fill in process gaps so that the customer doesn’t see the messiness that lies beneath. Drucker was right; the key to systematic improvement is systematic measurement. And the key to both is a solid underlying digital infrastructure to handle the creation, storage, movement, and archiving of the myriad documents necessary to fuel modern processes.
Most enterprise “change management plan” initiatives go awry because they are done in isolation without buy-in from end users, and they try to do too much too soon. The end result of this approach to bui8lding a change management plan is alienation of the very end-users who could benefit most from the technology, creating a change management nightmare that is difficult to unravel. With careful planning, by starting small and building upon success, and by choosing an enterprise content management system that is easy to use and intuitive for users, an enterprise content management implementation can actually be accomplished with a minimum of disruption. And set the stage for the kind of transformation an organization needs to survive in a digital age.
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