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14 February 2019

An unexpected IWMS implementation is hard to digest

This blog is a summary of the chapter 'People, culture and change' taken from the book 'A quest for excellence: Guidance for CRE & FM executives implementing a global IWMS'. Would you like to learn more? Find out more and click here to download the complete chapter.

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When you want the support of your employees during a phase of change, it is vital not to just push it down their throats, but to serve it in nice bite-size portions. We can see a parallel here between successful change processes, such as software implementations, and high end restaurants. 

A sneak peek in the kitchen of the world called IWMS. When a chef brings out a series of new dishes, it’s important that his team can cook all of them, the waiters can sell them and the guests like them. If there's an issue with one of these components, it will affect the others. So how do you create the right balance to make sure the new concept becomes a success?

The implementation of an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) usually takes some doing and is more than just the implementation of a software. Besides paying attention to the system, you should also pay attention to the implications for the structure, the culture and the people. These four key pillars of an organisation constantly affect each other. When changing one of the key pillars, remember to pay attention for the other three, so that the right balance is created.

Everything is connected

In previous blogs we’ve emphasised how important good communication is during a phase of change. Interventions can eliminate resistance from employees and create movement. We need these interventions, not only to steer changes in the key pillars structure, but also pull systems in the right direction. Interventions also need to mobilise people and are sometimes even aimed at changing the culture. Everything is connected, after all.

These interventions are done by and for people, they have to match the culture of the organisation and fit in with what causes the resistance (having to, wanting to or being able to). An intervention plan can help here. It provides insight into which intervention you carry out at which level, by already taking into account the moments when you can expect specific forms of resistance.

Phase of change strategies have matching interventions

There are eight change strategies you can apply. These are geared to the causes of the resistance and have matching interventions. These interventions are: negotiate, coach, convince, mobilise, train, support, plan and simplify.

Good preparation means good food

Back to the restaurant where the chef wants to introduce a new concept. The chef is wise enough to communicate the change clearly to staff and customers. After they have been convinced, the cooks and waiters have to be trained to actually execute the plan. Preparation is vital here, to ensure that the actual cooking process goes well too.

To steer the change process proactively in the right direction, a choice should be made for an integral approach in which the four key pillars of the organisation are geared to support each other. When cooking, it takes a while before the dish is ready and this kind of patience is also essential to a successful phase of change. This makes the IWMS implementation a finger-licking process.

Geert-Jan Blom
Business Consultant Planon Netherlands