People in organisations make decisions based on a variety of criteria. These decisions are motivated by a multitude of factors. So how do you ensure decisions are made when planning and implementing change? How do you get everyone to agree and on board quickly?
Harvard Business Review (April 2012) reported interesting research on decision-making for data-savvy employees. The research was carried out with 5,000 employees in 22 global companies. Three groups or decision-makers emerged:
- Visceral decision makers – base decisions exclusively on their gut feelings
- Informed sceptics – those who seek out information and exercise caution
- Unquestioning empiricists – trust analysis over judgement
For our purposes, this research shows that different people need different types and levels of information to make decisions. And arguably the ‘informed sceptics’ are the employees best equipped to make good decisions, given that they balance judgement and analysis.
And yet, many organisations struggle when planning for change because they cannot help people make decisions. For example, making data available is very important because 80% of employees need data for effective decision-making (as highlighted by the HBR research).
Our possible solution is to run the Able and How Change Index to generate data. That data can then inform decisions when planning and implementing change. People are therefore able to make more informed decisions about their approach to change, and the planned changes are more likely to succeed.
Adding to the likelihood of success in change is all the more important when you consider that currently only about 30% of change programmes reach their objectives.
There are other important ways to address the different needs for information. Writing a case for change is always a good first step. The case for change should address the various motivations, from exploring what the change means to your organisation and customers, all the way to the impact on you as an individual.
Accepting that we all process information in different ways and are motivated by multiple factors, getting all those different minds behind your change can be the best path to successful change.