Five Levers of Change

Change Management
Levers of Change

Organizational Change Management and Business Process Re-engineering was the rage in 1990’s. Much of that thinking still persists today but it is no longer sufficient for the kinds of transformations that organizations need to accomplish on an ongoing basis today. A modern business transformation is data driven, global in nature, crosses functional boundaries, and changes behavior at multiple levels of the organization. To address these needs organizations need to adopt a business-led enterprise-wide planning capability.

If we wind the clock back a few decades, websites like this described the Five Levers of Change Management as:

  • Communications plan
  • Sponsor roadmap
  • Coaching plan
  • Training plan
  • Resistance management plan

In short, this focuses on the “people” side of change management.  We could add Business Process Re-engineering to the mix, but process changes also are not sufficient to address fundamental shifts driven by digital disruption that impact the customer, channel, partner, and product side of the equation. The traditional focus on “people, process and technology” leaves out a key ingredient that is essential today: becoming data-driven and leveraging information in new ways for competitive differentiation.

The five levers of comprehensive Business Transformation therefore are:

  1. Assigning clear accountabilities including Information Management functions
  2. Re-engineering business processes
  3. Implementing new and improved systems
  4. Developing and motivating people
  5. Applying effective performance metrics

If this doesn’t sound like rocket science, it isn’t. Conceptually, the levers of change are simple. The challenge is in aligning the organization and turning the concepts into practical actions. One of the best ways I know of to do this is with the BOST™ Business Architecture approach which I first learned 15 years ago when I worked at Best Buy. Here is the sales pitch part of this blog: the BOST Toolkit is now available from Informatica Business Transformation Services.  Check it out!