How to Triumph in Times of Change
If you've ever lead a software implementation project or made significant changes to your current system, you know how difficult it can for an organization to adapt to a new system. “Inability to sustain change cripples about three-fourths of organizational change initiatives,” according to research by ATD and i4cp published in the report, Change Agents: The Role of Organizational Learning in Change Management. The study shows that lasting change occurs when organizations prioritize continuing communication to reiterate concepts after a major transition has been made. Yet only 17 percent of leaders surveyed rate their organizations as highly effective at managing change.
Some people thrive on the promise of better, faster, and smarter results that new programs and services can bring to their agencies. Far more often, however, change is greeted with fear and trepidation – and for good reason.
When it comes to the change process, the refined clay is as good as the potter who sculpts it. In other words, many nonprofit leaders have been burned by bad change experiences due to poor implementation rather than by lousy products alone.
Don’t let a resistance to transition keep you from doing what is beneficial for your organization. If you choose the right solution and support team, change doesn’t have to be painful.
Case in point:
Take the American Psychological Association (APA), for example. The largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States needed to upgrade its existing accounting software. The APA conducted a formal review to find a solution that met its unique requirements and would serve as the foundation to build additional services. The association chose BroadPoint’s Serenic Navigator financial management platform. The system’s real-time data modification and drill-down capabilities intrigued them, but the BroadPoint consultants’ depth of knowledge and suitability as an implementation partner won them over.
“I have been doing this for 35 years, and this go live was so non-eventful that it was eerie,” says APA’s Senior Director of Information Technology Services Planning and Business Management Jerry McGlaughlin. “We did some practice runs of the conversion and system cutover plans and came up with detailed plans that were executed in conjunction with the [BroadPoint] team. We went live and have been operating successfully ever since.”
BroadPoint works with its clients on their project plan, sets expectations upfront, and delivers on those commitments. Consultants advise leadership teams before they even begin the project about how they can present the plan of change to employees to get their buy-in.
“BroadPoint consultants work well with clients – they develop long-term, loyal, and trusting partnerships,” says John Uder, BroadPoint Account Executive.
Best practices realized
Participants in the ATD-i4cp study shared longstanding strategies for success with change management. BroadPoint consultants routinely use many of these best practices with their clients, such as:
Encourage frequent communication about the change.
Provide support of change initiatives that teams can access anytime, anywhere.
Allow individuals who have been through change to meet and exchange stories, successes, and lessons learned.
Focus people on mastering a few simple skills that they can use time and again.
Provide skills training to overcome employees’ lack of confidence in their ability to do something new.
Assign competent support teams to deliver training to all staff affected by the change.
Are you looking for a new accounting, member management, or CRM solution, but are wary of the change process? Learn why Microsoft Gold partner BroadPoint is the choice for more than 400 membership associations, health and human services agencies, foundations, research institutions, and other nonprofit organizations in the United States. Contact us today.
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