Leading an organization requires a forward-thinking mindset and the willingness to take on the necessary change required for longevity. Making tough decisions on how to increase the bottom-line while balancing the budget isn’t for the novice. So, how do you know when you’re ready for change? Some organizations want the change but may not be ready for it. How do you know if you are, or are not ready to take on change? When a firm implements a significant organizational change, it can become a success story talked about for years to come or on the contrary a huge source of discontent among your team if done prematurely or incorrectly. If only there was a way of knowing which camp you’d fall into before committing to a time-and-resource-intensive project. Fortunately, there is: By conducting a readiness assessment first. You may be wondering, what exactly is a readiness assessment, and how can you go about conducting one to get the results you want? We’ve got all the answers. What is a readiness assessment? As the name suggests, a readiness assessment is all about figuring out if a company is ready to undergo the shift it’s planning. It will identify any future challenges you may come across going from your current state to your desired future state. This includes surveying aspects such as:
People: How the team feels about a proposed change, and whether the culture is right for the shift.
Processes: Planning, policies and procedures that could impact how smoothly the transition goes.
Technology: Whether a company has the technology needed to implement the change, or if it needs to breakdown the company's technology needs.
Customer experience: How the change will impact the customers' experience and whether it will make their experience better.
Everything comes down to ensuring you have the resources needed (including time and human capital) and the systems in place or the right planning for a successful transformation. Once you have this information, you should be able to identify the greatest challenges you’ll face beforehand, adapt your implementation to overcome them.
Why do you need one? We’ve already said that a readiness assessment helps to prepare a company for change by evaluating the structures and people in a company and making a plan accordingly. Doing this will help you save money and increase effectiveness, because you’ll only be dedicating resources to policies that have a good shot at succeeding and you can make amendments before failing through trial and error.
Yet readiness assessments aren’t just about the final outcome — they can also identify wider organizational challenges that may have fallen through the net. For instance, they might point to conflicts between different people in a team, giving leaders the chance to improve their organizational culture for the long haul. Possibly even improving productivity in the process.
Additionally, a readiness assessment isn’t just something you do once and assume everything will be fine forever. You can carry out these assessments on a regular basis to measure progress over time and figure out if your organization is going in the direction you want. What has improved? Have you gone backward in any aspects?
How to carry out a readiness assessment Now, we come to the most important question of all. How can you get started yourself? Here are 6 key steps you’ll need to follow when conducting a readiness assessment:
First of all, you’ll need a framework. There are many readiness assessment tools designed for specific purposes available online — for instance, Microsoft has one for enrolling in Microsoft Managed Desktop and the World Bank has one for carrying out an Open AI initiative. Or, you might look at a few examples and use them to create your own.
Describe the change you’re implementing to the team and stakeholders, mentioning all steps involved, the time commitment, and the overarching vision.
Seek out feedback, such as through surveys or interviews, with a focus on feedback and concerns. Start general.
Use this general feedback to craft more specific interviews with those with influential positions. Be sure to ask about their ability and skills and how they feel the changes will impact them.
Assess more objective or technical factors, such as resources and technology, as specified in your original framework.
Analyze the results to look for potential problems and any changes you need to make.
Naturally, these kinds of calls are hard to make if the person conducting a readiness assessment is directly involved in the organization. That’s why many companies opt to go with a third party that can assess everything from an impartial standpoint. A consultant can also handle the creation of a tool and framework for you, which is something many firms find challenging.
Ready for readiness? If you’d prefer to collect data about what’s lying below before you leap off a cliff in blind faith, carrying out a readiness assessment is a must. But remember, they’re just the beginning of a continual process of shaping your organization for the better. At CPC, we use readiness assessments as a key tool in improving business operations. With a focus on people, processes, technology, and customer operations, we’ve helped countless clients to improve how they work. To find out more about how we can do the same for you, why not get in contact or book your initial consultation today?