Teambuilding for Success
Teams and organisations in transition face many challenges. Successfully recognising, responding to, and planning to overcome these issues is central to effective change management. In “The Hard Side of Change Management“, Hal Sirkin, Perry Keenan, and Alan Jackson outline their research on factors influencing effective organisational change. They propose the DICE Framework as a tool to assess the prospects of any individual change project.
Through their research, they identified four principal factors which correlate with successful execution of transitions in the life cycle of a business. Firstly, there is the Duration of the change program. Next, the Integrity of the collective team performance. Then, they consider the Commitment of the involved parties to the mission. Lastly, they cite the Effort required to balance existing work and change-related needs.
Connecting Dots on the DICE
With respect to the Duration of the change program, the authors determined that timely reviews of a project have more weight than the overall project’s length. Because of this, they suggest planning for review cycles of no longer than eight weeks. More frequent reviews are likely to be needed for complex changes and organisations.
The Integrity of the teams involved in handling transition is highly dependent effective leadership and team composition. A team with a blend of viewpoints and skills is stronger than one drawn together by one executive’s preferences. Therefore, an inclusive approach to forming transition teams is best.
Commitment in the DICE framework is two-sided. First, there is the perceived enthusiasm of “influential executives.” Interestingly, the authors note that influence doesn’t necessarily derive from higher titles. Secondly, team leaders must bring employees onside, because transitions will falter without their Commitment to the hard work of change.
Change can be intimidating, and it can sap a team’s energy and excitement. Low morale can have striking negative effects on overall business performance, let alone specific initiatives tied to major change. Consequently, the authors advise against expecting greater than a 10% increase in Effort from employees to adapt to change initiatives. Of course, the reality is that there is unavoidable work in coming to grips with new systems and processes. But demands must not be unreasonable.
By applying the DICE Framework to your change project, you can predict the likelihood of its success. Sometimes, however, hard truths require a soft touch, and bringing teams together in new ways can help to navigate transitions.