CRM implementation lesson

Tonight while reading the book on leadership transitions that I selected for my final MGNPO paper, I recognized that this part of the chapter on managing during the transition is also a really good framework for managing our CRM database implementation.

The following is summarized from Managing Leadership Transition for Nonprofits: Passing the Torch to Sustain Organizational Excellence (Kindle Locations 3145-3210), Dym, Egmont, Watkins (2011)

  • The transition team will have to help people through three critical steps:
    • Holding people together as they let go of the old ways of doing things and deal with the losses they feel because of those changes.
    • Helping people hang on through what William Bridges calls the “neutral zone”—the time when the new isn’t fully operational, but the old is gone.
    • Assisting people in making a new beginning, reinforcing their first steps in new systems and ways of work, showing appreciation for people’s willingness to learn to change, and helping them celebrate what and who the organization is becoming.
  • Holding people together
    • In the first phase—letting go of the old ways—some will temporarily lose their sense of competence. They will feel uncomfortable and need to be assured
    • There inevitably will be a chain of cause and effect collisions. When A changes, B no longer works and a new C needs to be developed.
    • want to identify and discuss who is losing what and try to foresee what secondary changes will probably occur and what will be different when each change is completed.
    • stakeholders together need to accept the reality of what is changing, and everyone needs to appreciate the importance of the subjective losses each is accepting for the good of the whole organization.
    • expect overreaction from some people in the initial phases of the transition.
    • express concern and sympathy openly while gently turning people’s attention to the future.
    • may want to develop a transition management dashboard.
    • During this time of transition, the team will need the patience of Job as they give people information over and over until it is heard, understood, and acted upon. This is how new realities are built in organizations.
    • clear and continual communication of transition information will also prevent people from individually deciding what to abandon, by preference rather than by the need to realign.
    • During transition there is a need for rituals or ceremonies that dramatize the things that are ending,
    • The entire team needs to stay on message: This is about aligning everything we do to move the mission forward.
  • Helping people hang on
    • Leading people through the second step, the neutral zone, is difficult.
    • things are changing, but they do not yet have all the details or perhaps even a clear sense of what new way will come.
    • strongly committed leadership is necessary
    • In creating things for people to hold onto during the transition, it will be necessary for the team to create temporary systems.
    • need to strengthen organization-wide connections so that they create champions of change at every level
    • need to encourage creativity at every level to find the right fit in all of the systems.
  • Assisting people in making a new beginning
    • important for the team to encourage people to ask questions.
    • If people don’t understand why changes have occurred, they won’t be able to absorb them.
    • connect changes to storytelling.
    • important that the team help the organization face both the good and bad facts
    • the team needs to be consistent in how it reinforces the new beginning
    • ensure that systems have been reorganized for the “new beginning.”
    • find ways to ensure and celebrate some quick successes
    • help stakeholders recapture the dream that brought them into the organization
    • highlight the outcomes that change, no matter how difficult, will produce for the organization.
Written on April 24, 2018