Forget Everything You Knew About Change Management and Procurement

Today, we continue our discussion with Paladin Associates’ Barb Ardell, exploring why we still ignore change management in procurement and supply chain and what is coming down the change management pike. See the first installment of this series here.

Spend Matters: Why do we still ignore “change” aspects?

Barb Ardell: The people aspect of change is “squishy.” We can define things like training, and we know how to develop a communication plan. Those are concrete. Putting together a plan to change people’s behavior is daunting. We don’t have a systematic framework for addressing how to change people’s behavior.

SM: What is change management 2.0 as you see it? What’s next?

BA: Influencing Change, based on The New York Times bestseller “Influencer,” was named 2009 Change Management Approach of the Year by MIT/Sloan Management Review. This award is in recognition of the fact that it is different from and superior to traditional change management. Specific differences include:

  • Based on 50 years of social science research. They studied people who had succeeded where others had failed in making major change, and they had the data to prove it.
  • Emphasizes individual behavior change.
  • Focuses on vital (high-leverage) behaviors. Think the Pareto Principle. You don’t need to address every desired behavior change. By identifying the vital few behaviors, and then focusing your attention there you achieve the desired change more quickly and consistently.
  • Diagnoses and targets root causes of resistance for effective and sustainable change.
  • Applies “Six Sources of Influence,” which provides a framework for systematically diagnosing causes of resistance and developing comprehensive strategies to both motivate and enable change.

I’m not one for fads or silly business cults. But the philosophy behind Influencing Change is real. I’ve become a huge devotee and practitioner of it. It works.

Stay tuned we explore how we can implement change management programs effectively and what makes top performers different.

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