By Tara Swords
Transformations are always complicated, but they’re even more complicated when they affect 90 percent of the company’s employees and disrupt long-held processes, no matter how inefficient the processes are.
“People will always push back and say, ‘No, that’s going to impact these weird and wonderful processes that already satisfy our business needs in our location,’” says Glory Global Solutions IS Director Glen Downes.
To deal with the complex issue of change management, Joseph Gnorski and his team focused as much on people as on technology. Gnorski, now Glory Global Solutions’ vice president of sales for Latin America and vice president of marketing for all of the Americas, gave us three pieces of change management advice for anyone undertaking such a massive project.
Headquarters: Basingstoke, England
Industry: Cash technology solutions
Revenue: US$950 million
Don’t customize. Gnorski designed bespoke workflows but didn’t customize the system itself, because he knew it was built a certain way for good reasons and he didn’t want to deal with an inflexible system down the road. “Tell people they can suggest changes but only after using the system ‘as is’ for six months,” he says. “Once they start using it, they’ll get used to it. But if they still have concerns after six months, we know it’s something to look at.”
Get senior-level ownership. Don’t just get endorsement—get ownership. Without leaders taking ownership of the project and actively selling it throughout the company, you’ll spend too much time trying to win hearts and minds, Gnorski says. “You need someone like Michael Williams, our CFO, who was willing and happy to stand at the top and say, ‘This is your new way of living.’”
Get enough experts, and no more. Especially with complex solutions such as a product configurator, you’ll need expertise from the product side. For Oracle Marketing Cloud, bring in experts from marketing. But remember: this isn’t a democratic process. “It’s not about getting everyone to agree to do something a certain way,” Gnorski says. “If that’s your approach, you’ll end up with a watered-down version that doesn’t fit anybody’s needs. Get good people who understand the vision and have deep expertise in their areas, and then keep that group limited and tight.”
Photography by John Blythe and Paul S. Howell