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 Do You Need Consulting For Change Management?

One of my clients told me an interesting experience using a consultant for improving their operations. My client emphasizes that nowadays what they need is more towards an advisor who will guide their employees. They want employees who are working on improvements to have the mindset of making improvements rather than having the consultants to come and give the answer of how to make the improvements. This client has used a different type of consultants starting from financial, business strategies and business process improvements. As a business transformation project, any change you want to make depends on the behavior and the motivation of each employee which makes the change management critical factor to be successful in the program. It is quite evident that many companies are struggling to make changes in their organization. Now every consulting firm provides change management services and approaches as a core service for companies to be successful in change management or business transformation programs. However, the trend that the market demand is changing dynamically.

How Change Management is Changing To Coaching

McKinsey had an interesting change management program where they will assign director class management consultant as part of employee training and coaching program to support client’s operational improvement program. What the director does is that they will visit the client and they do not give answers as consultants, they will ask questions to managers and make them accountable and responsible for making the change in their organization. If there is a problem, the Director will also request the manager to invite all the parties and ask questions to lead the employees to think alternatives and remind the intention of the program. By using this service, this company improved 50% more regarding the operational issues that the company was facing in their logistics operation. Consultants did not do any process analysis or perform any interviews or create any business process flows. All the tasks were carried out by employees, analyzing the process, identifying issues, designing solutions. Why were they able to do this?

What Is Really Preventing Your Organization To Change?

The reason you want consultants to perform a business process analysis and identify issues and come up with a solution is that the person who hires the consultant, usually it’s the CEO of the company, does not believe that their employees can make the change. The company which used McKinsey to become their coach was different. They believed that the employees are knowledgeable to make the change. However, they were missing one thing. The employees had a “Limiting Belief” that they cannot make the change because each department was just pointing fingers at each other, blaming each other that it was because of another department that they cannot make the change. Therefore what the management needed was to change their mindset. McKinsey Director did that for them. What he did was not doing analysis, not identifying issues, not proposing the best decision to make for the company. That should all be done by the people in the organization. What he did was to ask questions and eliminate their limiting belief.

Powerful Coaching Questions

So now you will think what did the Director ask the employees so that they can achieve their goal to improve. Here are the questions that the Director used during the advisory session.

  1. Why is that a problem for your organization

    • Managers will talk about a problem that does not relate to your organization or may not be a problem for the organization.
    • When this case happens you only make it clear what is the real problem for the organization.
    • Make them understand the problem that they need to solve, identify the problem they need to solve
  2. What caused this problem for your organization

    • Once you identify the problem then you need to figure out the cause.
    • Most of the case employees will answer something that may not be related to their organization
    • Especially managers need to be accountable for the problem so ask the following questions.
  3. What happened in your organization that causes this problem?

    • Make the manager or employees accountable for the problem.
    • Have them list the cause that is within their organization.
    • Any problem will not occur just by others.
  4. What could be the first step to resolving this problem?

    • Once you identify the cause of the problem asks what can be the first step.
    • The First step can be a very simple thing so that they can take action.
    • Never say what can you do to solve the problem, then they will make reasons not to think. Stick with the first step.
  5. What is preventing your organization to take the very first step to resolving it?

    • Once they figure out the first step ask them why this first action was not taken by the organization.
    • Was there anything that is preventing them from doing it or is just that they did not do it.
    • When you clear them off, then they should be able to take some action.
  6. What if your team is capable of resolving the problem, what will be the first thing you will do?

    • This is when they tell you that they don’t have the ability to do the action.
    • Anyone can take the FIRST STEP .
    • Make sure to free their mind and have them come up with something that they can do by themselves.
  7. Is there anything that may happen that you cannot execute the first step?

    • You will need to make sure that nothing can stop to take the first step so that they do not make any excuse not to do it.
    • This part should be a strong commitment from the manager.
    • 99.9% of the time they will say yes and perform what they have to as the first step is very easy for them to do.

By repeating this questionnaire over and over again then the team got used to the weekly advisory session. They may face another challenging situation which they may not have control. However, they already know the questions that the Director will ask. So what they will do is the team will ask the same questions before the next session with the Director. At the end what this is doing is a coaching process so that the organization and team can think by themselves how to resolve the organizational issues and make an improvement. These practices were not typical in the traditional consulting service, and now the trend is moving towards being a coach for the organization to achieve their target and goals to take the actions one by one.

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