Erika Morphy, in this morning's CRM Buyer points to a blog entry in the Perfect Customer Experience blog by a smart, smart, smart, CRM writer/analyst Louis Columbus who I've been following for countless years. The article is entitled "Customer Experience Management's Achilles Heel is Making Change Last" which is an entry by itself. Louis adds another "smart" to his legacy with this one because he points out something often overlooked in CRM implementations.
Constant changing has always been. (sorry, K.D. Lang....not quite but almost yours)
The point that Louis is making is that change at the workplace needs to occur consistently and the results aren't always dramatic. He points out that a successful change strategy depends on open communication, involvement early on of those affected, realistic guidelines for time and effort and managers who will learn the CRM or CEM system themselves, not just mandate to those who have to.
All of these are time honored and valid and this is an extremely important and intelligent reminder of how critical the transformation of corporate culture is.
One other thing:
Keep in mind that the change management program that you might be thinking Louis is talking about has no end point (though I presume there is a beginning somewhere).
Changing the culture in fact is not the way to look at it as much as incorporating continuous change into the culture of the company - that incorporation of change as a driver will change the culture of the company.
There is a VITAL point that has to be made here - once and for all.
The reason that change has to go on inside the doors of the business is because of change that has to be accommodated already going on outside the company. It is a change seemingly triggered by the entrance of Gen Y into the workforce and the political campaigns in the U.S. and other international factors that are both too numerous to deal with and too complex for my pea brain.The form this change takes is in the expectations and empowerment of the individuals that the company deals with day to day - that could be customers who buy stuff, internal customers like employees, the people who make up the suppliers and vendors that the company deals with. As eras move, as conditions evolve, and social, economic and political changes impact the thinking and emotions of members of the crowd (so to speak). Those changes have to be accommodated for two reasons.
- They affect the employees who walk in the employer's portal - a.k.a. office door - each morning because consumer behavior is influencing the workplace more and more
- If you don't, then you're going to have serious business troubles - because the level of expectation and the level of empowerment is so high.
In other words, all are being affected by the events, and sometimes transformative and other times incremental behavioral changes due to the transformation of all those conditions that make up the movement of a society day to day and over the longer time.
So, in the face of that, a company, with a business plan, and employees they hope to retain (unless you're the Oakland As - then you use Moneyball and trade them) because of their investments in the skills that the employees need, and because they have customers who are telling them "more, better, and more visible to me", the change must continuously occur to meet the changing conditions and behaviors that are continuously occurring.
Enterprises, large and small can turn a blind eye to it and the net result will be the good eye will be blinded.
And the third eye.