Change and change management continue to be hot topics for IT service management (ITSM) professionals on a number of levels. There’s the traditional “ITIL change management,” the need to move at a pace that better fits the business’ need for change, and the changing ITSM ecosystem – from the growing adoption of DevOps to the use of new technologies such as machine learning to increase efficiency, to reduce costs, and to improve the customer experience. On the face of it, this might look like process and technology change but, to meet this challenge, we also need to speed up the pace of change within the human psyche.
The Human Side of Change
The immediacy of change and the velocity at which it occurs can leave us reeling – an abrupt appearance of something unexpected that can put us slightly out of kilter or completely overwhelm us. If we want people to think and assimilate faster and with more ease, then we need to engage them in the requisite activity based on their competency levels and comfort zone. Yet this can hamper the very speed we’re after.
It seems we’re too busy being too busy to focus on what really counts. That is, if we expect frameworks like DevOps and Agile to help us, then look to the culture of our interaction, collaboration, and communication. Not just within IT, or even at the executive relationship level, but at the heart of where the action happens – the operation level within the business.
Refine and Absorb
There’s no right or wrong way to solve this issue, but refining what we currently do in regard to how we interact with our customers, and also absorbing customer experience thinking and approaches from outside of IT, can help us:
- Make the new feel normal faster
- Find equilibrium, and
- Have a more stable platform from which to make the next change.
Each company is different in its communication and capabilities, so satisfying your customers’ specific needs isn’t just a single click away. The body cannot follow where the mind won’t go and the mind is inextricably linked with the heart. We feel a change and our brain automatically responds with its first filter – fight, flight, or freeze! In most cases, it’s passive resistance we meet, as the majority of people don’t like to move out of their comfort zone. If you want to change your business, you need to change the conversations happening within it. Communication is a dynamic place so the channel(s) we choose to use need to match the types of conversations the business people like to have.
It’s no different to how we’ve learned most things in our life, we evolve through the acts and interaction of living and experiencing something on the tacit level. Some key questions where the answers you gain make a difference in how well you augment people’s acceptance of change include:
- How do they use technology from a human perspective?
- How close or how far away do you sit on the change curve with your customers and how will you close any gap?
- Can you verify the reality of your customers’ experiences and behavior on the front line?
- Do you have the required skills and capabilities in organizational change techniques?
No report can tell you how it feels, what the morale level is, or assess the competency level better than being in the environment with your customer(s). Understanding the answers above helps you to develop the symbiotic relationship with individuals and areas of the organization that will assist in making a change as natural as breathing.
Enabling our organization(s) to mature to the next level means connecting people and sharing knowledge that allows us to discover possibilities that lead us to realize our potential. It’s time to get H2H (human2human) when it comes to our communication and engagement. Let’s pop-up where and when it makes the most positive impact.
I’ll be dealing with aspects of the above in my presentation at Service Manager Dag 2017. Please join me for “Pop Up Human Engagement” and explore the rest of the program, which focuses on how we need to deal with the ever-increasing pace of change. And as you’ll see, it goes beyond the ability of our technology.