We do, we really do.. The more I learn about how we drive change in organisations, more I am convinced that we need to change how we change. This problem is severe when it comes to change driven by IT systems. Funnily enough, that covers each and every change programs now a days.
I am going to spend a lot of time about what we need to change but let me start with something fundamental – We seem to be calling internal customers as ‘users’. For the lack of better word, I hate that and with good reason.
If you ask me, most of the issues with our change management approach stem from there. The moment we say internal customers are ‘users’, the way we treat them changes fundamentally
- Customer is always right, but user… may be not! Users needs to be told what is right..
- We are obliged to deliver what the customer asks for, but users? may be not..
- If customers are not buying our products and services we question ourselves. If users are not ‘adopting’ the system, we question them with the assumption that they just don’t get it.
Just for a second, let’s assume internal transformation teams are start-up projects and employees are their customers. Do you think that business is ever going to be successful with the way they currently treat their customers?
I am sure I am not the first one who has thought about this and I will not be the last one. There is a big body of research done on why transformation programs fail and I am sure in that research someone somewhere has begged transformation teams to start treating internal employees as Customers. I am sure the IT and Transformation teams have the right intentions but something somewhere must be making it impossible to treat employees as Customer. More about that in the next post..