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My experience in Organization Transformation

The term Organization Transformation was still very much alien to me when I was relatively new in the HR profession.  I didn’t even realize that it was basically what I was doing when I first started getting involved in the various stages of what I know now as something transformative.

I recall as Learning and Devt Manager then as Head, then as Sr. HRBP,  I participated in several divestments, mergers and acquisitions in my previous Company (one of the largest multinational companies in the world).  There were factory closures, new factories being built, divesting an entire business unit, acquisition of a new business,  changing the business model, setting up and closure of a regional office, and so on.   

I was lucky enough to be part of an organization where the key leaders appreciate the fact that every business topic will always have a people aspect.  As such, the role of HR is pivotal in all these business changes. And my key role was to look into the impact of these changes to people, organization and culture. 

As in a change initiative, there will always be resistance, hence a lot of effort was placed in getting the buy-in of those being affected by change – whether the impact of the change is positive or negative for them.  What  I learned from my CEO was to relentlessly “communicate, communicate, communicate” the what, why and how of the change.  He personally spent much of his time doing regular townhall sessions, and going around the factories and the different business units to explain the change.  My role was to prepare a comprehensive communication plan that maps out the detailed strategy on how to ensure that key stakeholders and the rest of the employees are buying into the change, equipped with the correct and updated information, and properly trained if a new skill or competency is involved.  More importantly, they are reassured that they are properly supported at any stage during the entire change process.

In all these, there is one learning that stuck with me up to now; In making an effort for change what needs to be highlighted especially for those identified to be resistors, is to focus on what they stand to lose if the change will not happen.  In the sense that “The psychological pain of losing is greater than the pleasure of gaining something” (source unidentified).  This is a stronger motivational pull than simply emphasizing the benefits of change.

   Written by: Renee Valdez - Consultant, Acumen Strategy Consultants

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