Each new Prosci research report is an opportunity to expand the body of knowledge in change management into new topic areas. Recent reports added depth and a data-driven foundation around justifying change management, job roles and complex change types. The 2016 edition of Best Practices in Change Management was no different. In fact, the new topic areas researched in the most recent report provide change practitioners with significant new insights on some of the most pressing contemporary issues including: culture, change agent networks, vertical industry customization and engaging complementary roles. This blog presents a high level overview of the new research topic areas addressed in Prosci’s 2016 benchmarking report.
We all know that culture matters. Prosci decided to take it one step farther by exploring the question, “How can I create more successful, positive change by understanding and adapting within the cultures I work?” After reviewing leading thinkers’ work on cultural dimensions, Prosci identified six dimensions to study in terms of their impact on change: individualism vs. collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, assertiveness, performance orientation, and emotional expressiveness. The data and resulting analysis provided concrete insights into the specific challenges and unique adaptations across each cultural dimension. Armed with the data and framework, change practitioners can better adapt their approach to align with the cultural dimensions of their organizations.
Change Agent Networks
Search the current change literature and you will find many mentions of change agent networks but little foundation and direction on how to best build and use a change agent network. Prosci decided to change that by focusing a whole section of the 2016 report on change agent networks.
Thirty-nine percent of research participants leveraged formal change agent networks to support change implementation, and they shared their experience and insights on the definition of a change agent network, reasons to use a change agent network, how to build a change agent network, expectations and roles of the change agent network and criteria for selecting members. Change practitioners implementing complex change and looking to gain credibility through engagement can leverage the lessons and concrete tips coming from this new research.
Vertical industry customization
Adapting change management to meet your specific environment is central to your effectiveness. In the latest research, we collected a fascinating data set about change and change management in different vertical industries. You will find an almanac of the most impactful changes facing each vertical industry – from banking and finance, to health care and education, to government at all levels. In addition, the body of knowledge expanded to include unique challenges and specific adaptations for change management in each vertical industry. As a change practitioner, you can leverage these latest findings to ensure that your application of change management matches the underlying structure of your vertical industry.
Change management does not operate in a vacuum. In many organizations, the change ecosystem includes numerous groups all pursuing the goal of increasing outcomes in times of change.
A new area of research in the latest report focused on these complementary roles. Learn from real practitioners how they engaged with Internal Communications, HR Business Partners, Internal Consultants, Business Analysts and Organization Development. As a practitioner, you can effectively engage other change-minded professionals to expand your impact, and now there is research on how to best achieve that goal.
Conclusions and Key Takeaways
Practitioners from around the world share their insights, experience and expertise in each of Prosci’s benchmarking studies. The resulting reports form the largest body of knowledge in the world on delivering project results by managing the people side of change. And because of the ongoing nature of the research, Prosci has the unique opportunity to broaden that body of knowledge. New topics in the latest research – such as culture, change agent networks, vertical industry customization and engaging complementary roles – each position you as a change practitioner to be more effective by honing and adapting your approach to meet your specific change situation.
Tim Creasey is Prosci’s Chief Innovation Officer and a globally recognized leader in change management. His work forms the foundation of the largest body of knowledge in the world on managing the people side of change to deliver organizational results.