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The “P” in Change – How People Make Change Happen

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The one constant in today’s energy industry is change. Layoffs, budget reductions, regulatory pressure, a brisk pace of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, and migrating from physical records to a digital environment are all areas of change that impact how information is managed.

Tackling the topic of managing change was the focus of TAB’s Knowledge Exchange Event on October 18, 2016 in Denver. The free Knowledge Exchange breakfast meeting is one way that TAB is helping clients solve some of the tough business issues they are facing in today’s economy and volatile energy industry.

Keynote speaker and change leader Lara Bancroft of RedVicker Inc. offered her insights on how energy companies can build a culture of change to adapt and thrive, and it begins with shifting from a reactive mindset to a proactive one.

“There is no doubt that change is hard,” says Lara. “In fact, 60 – 75 percent of corporate change initiatives fail, but it’s not all bad news. The key to change is people, and change does happen at organizations when a group of people adopt the change.”

She explains that there are four key principles to making change happen:

  1. People must understand the change. If you are going to make a change, such as moving from physical records to a digital environment, you must make the case for change and provide the compelling reason for the change. Explain the “why, how, what, where, when, and who” to build understanding and then communicate frequently to create trust and buy-in.
  2. People must connect to the change. The bottom line for most people is that they need to understand the “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me?) related to the proposed change. Alignment is imperative in order to connect to – and support – change, which can come from appealing both to emotion and logic.
  3. People must know how to change. If you are asking people to change, you must give them the skills and training to perform the change. You need to provide crystal clear expectations and offer detailed direction. Allow time for individual learning and work styles to adapt and focus on changing habits.
  4. People must live the change. The corporate environment must embrace change to provide a situation that allows people to change.This is especially important when facing acquisitions and divestitures and industries facing ongoing change. Building a change management competency and using a change model is essential to long-term success. Focus on behaviors you want to see once the change is adopted and understand that everyone is responsible for change.

There are many different opportunities where energy companies can introduce and embrace change. A great place to start from an information management perspective is a new project or updated process in order to initiate creating a culture of change. The key is to remember that your people are the key to ensuring change happens.

For more information on leading corporate change management, contact Lara at lbancroft@redvicker.com.

Mark your calendars for the next TAB Knowledge Event in Denver on March 28, 2017. Contact Carol Ann Hartnagle at chartnagle@tab.com to register.

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