Any company that goes to transformation faces many challenges, prominent challenge is how, when and who drives these changes. There is always a perception that change should be always driven from top, because power needed to orchestrate change lies there. But it’s not always the top-down approach that brings in change organization wide, due to many reasons:
- Organizational hierarchies – protects/withheld communication & information
- Responsibility & accountability – centralized decision making & opposition to change from lower cadres
I am fortunate to be part of the volunteer group which was responsible for agile transformation across organization. I am discussing few positive outcomes when self-motivated/like minded volunteers come together to drive change.
Any change/transformation always starts at the top. But to sustain transformation and making sure it reaches to the root level, organization should create platforms rather than just the guidelines and process. Major transformations can’t be well thought out and pre-engineered, basically it should provide ways/enable teams to device own solutions which works for them.
Forming a group of volunteers across levels and functions, and enabling them to drive the change has many benefits.
- Devising initiatives which are relevant – because its designed by the people whom it is intended for
- Self-servicing – since volunteers comes from different function areas, they can propose/pivot alternatives which works for them
- Acceptance – since initiatives will be driven by the volunteers connected to all levels of organization, initiatives are well accepted and outcome are improved
- Multiplying factor – volunteers multiply the impacts through the social/informal channels which are not handy for the top management
Although it looks encouraging, there are many hurdles with this approach too (highlighted below).
- Lack of support from management – right mentors, funds, etc.
- Not having diversified volunteer group – cross functional teams
- Slowdown in energy/momentum – due to frustrations & failures
- Definite right purpose and objectives for each initiatives – having less initiatives than many initiatives without outcomes
Certainly self-nominated/motivated volunteer group can create a rightful impact.