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Cure Your Company's Allergy to Change, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield Examples

Cure Your Company's Allergy to Change, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield Examples | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"The HBR post cites several case studies illustrating why many transformations fizzle, then two examples for how to turn it around."


The cautionary tales, names removed, are listed first.  Then the positive stories follow.  ~  Deb


Excerpted:


______________________

   

But they're not failing fast to learn. They're just failing more. It's definitely not a learning organization.

______________________


A health insurer demonstrates a repeated pattern of 3- to 5-year cycles where it launches a change program, takes awhile for managers to get behind it, and then more time to get it funded. A program gets funded for a year but then everyone loses interest, and it gets defunded and dies.


Recently they're failing faster; the three- to five-year cycle is moving to two to three years. But they're not failing fast to learn. They're just failing more. It's definitely not a learning organization.


Just about everyone in the company agrees the culture is dysfunctional:

   

  • Some point to politics - competition between the COO and CFO blocking each other's progress. 
  • The CEO also had a way of questioning and stress-testing people that discouraged risk-taking => a "play it safe" mentality.
  • Executives who want quick wins scope projects to be done in a year. Most change programs there needed multiple years, so by the time a program extends beyond year one, executives move onto a new initiative.


What countermeasures are there to break a tragic change cycle like this?


______________________

   

Adopting improvement methods such as "agile" or "lean" can change the culture so that results and trust are prized over process and contracts.

______________________


Successful efforts at health insurance companies Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan offer insights:


Organizational realignment — The structure of an organization determines the incentives that drive identity, behavior, and employee understanding of roles and responsibilities and priorities, as well as a sense of ownership and accountability.


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's tried a more traditional functional management structure but then found it lost customer focus.

  

  • It appointed leaders to run market segments with profit and loss responsibility with the focus of changing the product mix and improve profitability. 
  • By organizing by customer, cross-functional changes became much easier to implement, and there was a dramatic turnaround in business results.
   

Improvement methods — a platform for doing work nimbly and at low cost included:

  

  • Adopting improvement methods such as "agile" or "lean" can change the culture as employees are empowered  so that results and trust are prized over process and contracts. 
  • Tactics such as daily huddles drove immediate wins and helped entrench a culture of empowerment.


Employee engagement — Employees fundamentally want themselves and the company to be successful, so successful change agents listen to their needs and help them transition.


Aetna describes how new CEO John Rowe and the senior team "sought out employees at all levels — those who were well connected, sensitive to the company culture, and widely respected — to get their input on the strategy, design and execution of intended process changes."


Executives at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan went into the field to gather input and communicate their commitment to change. Employees were trained in improvement methods ("Lean"), with every employee going through two sessions in accountability training.


Curator: Enrich your perspective on change planning, facilitating, organizing, implementing or sustaining especially when dealing with demanding deadlines and short staffing.


Contact Deb Nystrom here for an initial consultation, without obligation.

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Harry Cannon's comment, November 1, 2012 11:30 AM
See article in HBR Jul-Aug 2012 by Katzenback et al.
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, November 3, 2012 8:10 PM
Thanks Harry. I appreciate the link.
Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from the Change Samurai
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Horror stories, language and lessons: Building Change Capability

Horror stories, language and lessons: Building Change Capability | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

No Trust = Minimal and ineffective change - with a true horror story ERP failed implementation to bring it home.


See Daryl Conner's Change Commitment Curve for the full model.

   
In this change practitioner group's MeetUp a key question emerged:  How do you build, manage and reward trust through successful engagements and implementations of change?

   

Take the horror story shared:

   

  • a large-scale ERP implementation that with 8 hours to go until commencement of training, cancelled the training courses and disrupted delegates who were flying from across the country to attend.” The client never regained trust in the solution being delivered or the solution provider managing the change.

   

  • Lack of trust can lead to a horror story, or like with the story above, a horror story can lead to a lack of trust. 

   

_______________________
   
Lack of trust can lead to a horror story...or a horror story can lead to a lack of trust.

_______________________


Other excerpts: 

  

  • Our job is made harder by the fact that sometimes it’s best not to call change “change” and it can be difficult knowing when and who that rule applies to.

  

On language and labels, including internal change champions:

      

  • Often even they don’t want to be associated with the change by title. It’s as if labelling someone a “Change Capability Manager” or “Change Champion” gives the rest of the organisation the right to lump that person who has “change” in their title with all the stuff they’d rather not manage themselves.

Via the Change Samurai
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