Stakeholders must have an understanding of the change and why it is important. They also need motivation to move in the direction of the change and to embrace the change as necessary for the future of the organization as well as their own future. Performance incentives must be in place, which reinforce the desired behavior required by the future state envisioned as part of the strategic plan. And, lastly, stakeholders must understand the risks and consequences associated with failure and the rewards associated with success.

There is a need to make a shift in most organizations’ cultures. Too often change management consists of communication of the change at the start of the project and ends with training on the new process, tool or product, all with a hope for the best. To break with this pattern and embrace the model for sustainable change, organizational leaders, including project and program managers, must go beyond just communicating with and enrolling all stakeholders. They must actively engage their teams in designing, implementing and making ongoing improvements in strategic organizational changes.

To implement viable change, project and program managers must encourage stakeholders to understand the need for change, as well as help them embrace the envisioned future state. This is a white paper by James H. Harrington, CEO of Harrington Associates and Frank Voehl, Strategy Associates. Enabling organizational change through strategic initiatives.

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