Thought Leadership Articles

    International Change Management - Plan Global, Implement Local

    Feb 20, 2018 | Posted by Michael Campbell


    Gone are the days where companies were restricted to their own domestic territory, rather we have seen organisations spread fiercely across the world due to a number of factors such as advances in technology and the ability for organisations to be born global. In today’s global marketplace those that can implement change more effectively both domestically and abroad will increase their competitive viability, making a global change management strategy a strategic imperative. 

    Indeed according to Prosci's 2016 Best Practices report, 57% of organisations increased their organisational change management by one level and 10% increased their organisational change management maturity by two levels. For aspiring organisations looking towards building real sustainable competitive advantage, they need to work towards achieving level 4 & 5 on the Prosci Change Management Maturity Model. Few companies are at these high levels (only 14% out of ~1200 participants surveyed in Prosci's 2016 Best Practices report).

    We offer three key points to consider when implementing change management on a global scale;

    Plan on a global scale, but implement on a local scale

    1. There are major factors that require careful consideration in order to build successful organisational change capability. Before implementing locally you must ensure you have secured executive sponsorship for your change effort globally. If you can ensure support from heads of business across your entire operation your organisation will be able to respond to change more swiftly.
    2. The strategy to build competency at all levels needs to be adopted in each location, if any single premise fails to build change competency it can negatively affect the change management efforts of the entire organisation.
    3. The language of change can vary from business to business, so build a common language for change that best works for your organisation. Now we have covered the three key points lets delve deeper into each.

    Secure executive sponsorship for your change efforts

    As soon as your operation works on a global scale, it is important to find influential leaders in each region that can sponsor change management initiatives. Who will be responsible for change sponsorship in South America? In Asia? Is Europe going to require more than one sponsor? Once identified, you should supply these high-level individuals with a change sponsorship roadmap that will enable them to act in a cohesive manner, taking action in line with the global strategy and communicating consistent messages across their region.

    However, when it comes down to it, for global change to be successful it needs to be implemented locally, that means adapting it to suit the culture of that individual locale. This is why it is vital to have a group of global leaders, as they alone will understand how change management will best fit with the global goals but also with their locations culture.

    Finally, this core group of C-Suite change sponsors should take the time to align on what other strategies can be developed to build change management capabilities such as; building competencies at grass roots level of the company and how processes could be better standardised.

    Build Internal Competencies at all Levels

    Many global companies benefit from strategically selecting individuals at each location, who are embedded in the processes of that region and embedded in the company culture, then sending them to Prosci Train the Trainer Program. The course provides individuals with the skills they need to conduct role-based training within their regions. Since this individual has the cultural norms and business operations ingrained they will be better equipped to train the team as they are part of the team, not someone sent from the global headquarters who does not fully understand their unique role.

    Build a common change language and make the Prosci Methodology and tools work for you

    In order for change management to be successful as part of a global company, its vital that each region sees change management resources as a positive tool meant for them, not something some marketing wiz, on another continent from some corporate retreat thought up.

    Those companies that experience most success in building enterprise level change management globally are those that take the time to implement change management training, develop tool and resources that meet the needs of each location, whilst also delivering the global strategy. Steps that show a commitment to making this work globally but also locally include, translating the materials into the native language of each geography and adapting the imagery to work within each unique culture.

    If you are looking to implement change management on a global scale but are unsure where to start, attend one of our courses where one of our expert trainers can equip you with the skills you need to succeed.

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    Topics: Enterprise Change Management, Successful Change and Transformation, Leaders of Change