Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Potential Challenges at Ingredient 6

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(creating short-term wins)

(NB Challenges are not necessarily in order of importance and includes some suggestions on how to handle the challenges)

. Merely planning but not creating short-term wins within 6 to 18 months (planning is passive while creating is active)

. Not rewarding people who achieve short-term goals, eg recognition, promotion, money, etc.

. Reward and recognition systems linked with old ways and behaviours

. Forgetting that what gets measured and rewarded gets done

. Realisation that change will take a long time, and a sense of urgency subsides

. Underestimating the power of the cynics and resisters

. Not celebrating in an overt and public way when milestones are reached. Celebration is proclaiming that efforts were appreciated. It involves recognition (personal, peer, etc) that people are of value to the organisation; it is a thank you; it shows gratitude and creates an "esprit de corps" that prepares for the next challenge.

. Not ensuring that short-term wins support long-term gains, such as behaviours

. Too much leadership and not enough management, ie management looks after the short-term and leadership the longer term ‐ there is a need for a balance between the 2

. Use of gimmicks rather than genuine short-term gains

. Different interpretations of the same measurement

. Confusing stretch goals with short-term wins

. Not realising the importance of non-financial rewards.

. Assuming that staff members are only motivated by financial incentives. It has been shown (Fiona Smith 2009b) that people who receive a bonus payment tend to regard it as an entitlement, ie part of their usual remuneration, rather than a reward for good performance. Furthermore, there is evidence (Fiona Smith 2010t) that high levels of variable pay (pay for performance, bonus payment, etc) promote bad behaviour, such as fraud (asset misappropriation, accounting fraud, bribery, corruption, etc) and does not increase performance. This perspective is most applicable in sophisticated/complicated workplaces and is accentuated by setting high targets that encourage "bad behaviour" to achieve these targets and get the performance pay.

. On the other hand, some interesting research (Kathleen Vohs, 2010) has found that the mere thought of cash gives people inner strengths and eases both physical and emotional pain. However, money makes us want to work alone and not ask for help; money makes people less helpful; cash encourages us to enjoy leisure activities alone; sometimes money can work better than praise. Thus cash is a "2-edged"sword !!!!!

. Some would argue that changes re-enforced by rewards are superficial ‐ they can be reversed. They claim that this is dealing with overt behaviour rather than the underlying belief system.

. Rewards not being of value to the recipients

. Need to understand that rewards for improved performance are better than punishment for mistakes. Yet there are cases when reward for improved performance has resulted in worse performance; similarly, there are cases when punishment for mistakes resulted in improved performance. This is known as "regression to the mean" and involves random fluctuations in the quality of performance. Sometimes performance can be based on luck; need to be careful of the casual interpretation to the inevitable fluctuations of a random process, ie

"...Poor performance was typically followed by improvement and good performance by deterioration, without any help from either praise or punishment..."

Daniel Kahneman 2012


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