Properly used, forums can be helpful for a business to facilitate business change management. Forums provide an outlet for executive teams to examine, have dialogue, and draw conclusions as a group. Run the business forums are a common piece of well-run organizations. Management decision-makers get together, discuss the progress made on projects, check numbers and decide on the future course of action to be pursued. This could be as simple as staying the present course or it might mean revamping the show.
However, when it comes to changing the business, if it is discussed in the forum setting, it usually tagged onto the end of run the business forums. The normal result is that topics on changing the business get shelved in favour of the business at hand. business change management forums more often occur during retreat meetings where the work is mixed together with play. The use of informal settings can be highly effective for creative approaches, but it does not lend itself to the hard, long-term work necessary to bring about real change.
For change to occur in an organization, it has to be approached in the same way that running the business is approached. What this entails is a tone of seriousness, a setting that imbues formal thought, and genuine regard from executives. If the COO spends two full days a month dealing with running the business forums, he or she must also spend two full days a month on change forums. The entire employee base, from top to bottom, will arrange its attitude toward change from the message the executive team sends about it. If the CEO cannot be bothered to attend the business change management forum but always attends the run the business forum, no one else is going to take it seriously.
When conducting a change forum, priorities involved with running the business should be a consideration. For example, if a major new client has just been signed, but delivery times are a critical, a change initiative to revamp the delivery process might be pushed off a few months in favour of something less likely to disrupt a new contract. In this instance, change is not being disregarded. What is happening in this instance is a change in scheduling to accommodate a highly profitable situation. This should be should also be true coming from the business side of things. If a major change initiative is about to take place, the managers in charge of running the business should try to minimize decisions that will disrupt that process.
The creation of two distinct forums for change and running the business increases your odds of successful change significantly. It allows program managers the opportunity to keep the projects they oversee the attention they need. It creates a situation in which the administration of change and the running of the business are not a constant battle. Finally, it provides a clear way to send a message that both business change management and running the business are important.