Ineffective Change Management – Lessons from Passage of Obamacare

23 03 2011

Happy birthday Obamacare! Why it’s failing.

Implementing change is never easy, but ignoring the people side of change can be disastrous.

Whether it’s a private organization, non-profit, public entity or even your own family; implementing change takes planning and patience. Just because you believe in the change, doesn’t mean others will.

Don’t believe me? Consider the wall of resistance the Obama administration is still facing on this 1st anniversary of the bill’s passage. States are refusing to implement the law and are filing  lawsuits to overturn its content and the very people it was supposed to help are still refusing to buy coverage, even though it’s now offered. These obstacles are a direct result of:

  • Implementing last year’s health care overhaul without assessing the country’s readiness for the change
  • Identifying credible sponsors for the change
  • Planning for resistance and
  • Gaining buy-in.

Leaders of organizations are in the driver’s seat; they have full range of vision for the organization and can assess the strategic changes needed to remain competitive, develop new markets, implement new technology, or acquire new businesses to complete a strategic portfolio. But change is rarely successful because leaders demand it. Rather, change must be embraced by the people (or employees) responsible for implementing it.

If you’re considering an organizational change, even a small one, you can substantially increase the likelihood of success by taking a few simple steps:

1.       Consider the scope of the change

2.       Identify credible sponsor(s)

3.       Build trust

4.       Assess organizational readiness, including

a.       Culture

b.      History

c.       Vision

5.       Anticipate and plan for resistance

6.       Remove barriers

7.       Celebrate success

A year after the Obama administration told the American people that they …”would learn to like it” they haven’t. Don’t jeopardize your organization’s performance and profitability because of poor change management.

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