Using Data to Help Make the Change Stick The final aspect of the model deals with the measurement of change and the metrics used in that measurement. How will the general manager know that the changes implemented are working? Managers can measure inputs easily, such as the number of hotel receptionists who are trained on the new system. But management will also need to track the number of times rooms are misallocated. This is a more difficult problem because the staff could be motivated to prevent accurate reporting from such a system if the results could put the staff in a negative light. Chapter 10 talks about measurement and control methods that can assist change managers in navigating the path forward.
Models improve change managers’ abilities to plan and implement organizational change and to predict outcomes. The Change Path Model provides a practical framework that lays out a linear process for change. This model, like others, risks having change managers oversimplify their challenges. Cause–effect analysis is complex because organizations are nonlinear, complex entities and the constantly shifting external environment impacts an organization’s customers and resources. An overreliance on superficial thinking can lead to errors in judgment and unpleasant surprises. Organizations are more surprising and messier than people often assume.
Coordination and control of change may appear fairly straightforward. However, the reality is that organizations often undertake multiple change projects simultaneously. For example, a factory may be shifted toward a continuous improvement process while other parts of the organization are being restructured. Different managers are working on separate change projects to make things better. Under such complexity, control is difficult and likely involves multiple layers of authority and systems. Difficult yes, but coordination and integration of efforts toward shared goals can be accomplished when approached carefully, thoughtfully, and empathetically. See Toolkit Exercise to examine a change initiative through the Change Path process and differentiate between the how and what of change.