Mergers and major integration projects all involve change, and few things are scarier than change. To smooth the way and simplify the merger process, effective change management leadership needs to focus on basic human principles. The cooperation and participation of those most deeply affected by change can make or break the effort.
Accenture has devised a leadership model for change management through mergers called its Journey Framework. The framework divides the management issues and essential tasks relating to mergers and major integration initiatives into four quadrants or categories. The categories are divided along two thematic axes. The supply and demand axis encompasses programs that generate change from the outside and programs that create a desire or need for change in the workforce. The macro and micro axis covers the large scale?from enterprisewide programs down to those that affect each individual.
Toward the macro and supply side of the quadrant, planning and navigating change are the main priorities. Change should be managed so that it is a gradual process of sequential steps, rather than one sweeping event. Also, in the macro view but on the demand side of the chain, IT leadership must provide and support strong sponsorship for specific projects and overall initiatives.
At the micro view on the supply side, key tasks center around supporting staff with the right content, training and performance. If the manner in which they do their job is changing, they must have senior management support. On the demand side, helping staff own the changes through constant communication gives them greater confidence in corporate goals.