Why Outsourcing Beats Insourcing for Change Management
“We have our internal change managers”, “We can do that completely internally”. We often hear these kinds of reactions when we talk to people about our work. However, change is often difficult and one fails to achieve the desired results when led internally.
Why is that? They are the different things within an organization, such as an existing culture, a certain structure and a form of leadership. Implementing major changes in an organization requires buy-in and support from key stakeholders, including board of directors, managers, department heads, and employees. There are written and unwritten rules, and people often still have so-called acquired rights, which make it even more difficult for them to think about change. These feelings permeate the entire organization. Here we already have the first of the sources of resistance. Add to that the character traits and egos of people in key positions and you have plenty of options to slow down or frustrate the change process.
Whoever wants, looks for possibilities. If you don’t want that, look for a reason.
Leading organizational change from the inside can be challenging for several reasons:
- Resistance to change.
People are often resistant to change, and this can be especially true in the workplace. Employees may feel comfortable with the status quo and fear that a change could disrupt their routine or jeopardize their job security. Therefore, it can be difficult to get buy-in from colleagues (you are an internal change leader, after all) when proposing a change, even if it is a change for the better.
- Existing processes and culture.
When an internal change leader wants to implement the changes from within an organization, he may encounter challenges from existing processes and cultural norms. Established processes and cultural practices can be deeply ingrained in the organization, making it difficult to break away from them and implement new ways of doing things.
- Limited perspective.
Change leaders who have been with the organization for a long time can have a colored perspective on the company’s activities, culture and market. This can make it difficult for them to identify areas for improvement and propose effective solutions.
- Lack of autonomy.
Change leaders trying to drive change from within the organization may be constrained by reporting structure, budget constraints, and other factors. This can be a major constraint on taking more bold actions and making significant changes.
- Political considerations.
In many cases, change leaders who try to drive change from within an organization face political considerations, such as resistance from other departments or stakeholders who fear losing influence or resources.
In general, it can be very difficult to lead an organizational change from the inside. There are many factors that can hinder progress, from internal politics to resistance to change. However, with the right approach, it is possible to overcome these challenges and drive meaningful change. And the best way to do it? By engaging an external specialist. Of course there are very capable people in the organization. But when you’re in the middle of something, it’s often difficult to get a good picture. Furthermore, you yourself are part of the whole, which means that you probably have too much prior knowledge. Apart from the fact that power relations definitely work against change. Consciously but often also unconsciously. It is therefore inevitable that an external specialist is the only correct solution. That way you will move forward faster and with good guidance. And you can unlock the true potential of the organization.
An external specialist takes a fresh look at the organization and the situation. He takes you outside, so to speak, to look at the organization together. Unbiased and objective. When we do this with customers, we discover together the blind spots, the routines, the patterns. Together we can then identify the first points for improvement. By looking differently at both the situation and the possible solutions together, we can really transform the organization from a new perspective. Unlike internal employees who can be influenced by internal politics or personal relationships, an external specialist provides an objective opinion focused solely on the best interests of the organization. There is no emotional connection to current processes or systems, which means that an outside specialist can make difficult decisions without fear or favour. Our advice is based on facts, data and expertise, not on personal biases or hidden agendas.
An additional advantage is that an external specialist has no history with the organization.
An external specialist has no history with the organization, so he has an unbiased view of both the situation and the different people. He can therefore provide an objective assessment of the strengths, weaknesses and risks. In this way, well-considered decisions can be made that lead to a meaningful and successful change. Every change carries a degree of risk. But by working with an external advisor, you can limit these risks. An external party brings specialized expertise, skills and experiences that are directly applicable to the needs of the organization. Due to the experiences at other organizations and the craftsmanship, common pitfalls can be avoided and you achieve results faster. A good consultant feels co-responsible for the success of the change process. Forcing the strange eyes that keeps the change initiative alive. Stays on schedule. Progress is made and results are achieved. While I can only speak for our organization, I assume that external advisors are committed to the success of your organization. They work tirelessly to ensure that the change is a resounding success.
Feel free to think of us as committed outsiders
In short, why settle for internal problems and limitations when you can have an external specialist who offers a fresh perspective, an objective opinion, less bias, less risk, specialized expertise, rapid implementation and unwavering accountability?
Are you ready to make a change in your organization? Our exploratory strategic sessions can provide you and your team with the opportunities and solutions to transform your organization. Contact us today to learn more about our 9 Building Blocks for Connection model and how we can help you make that change.
Have a great day!
More about group dynamics and change in
the blocks (chapters) “to communicate” and “to visualize” in our book Cement (in Dutch)
Edwin is not just a visionary expressed through his longreads, but also adept at conveying his ideas through presentations and real-world client interactions. He is a lover of Scandinavia and that's noticeable. Through an array of examples and metaphors, his infectious enthusiasm becomes a catalyst for inspiring, motivating, and fostering connections among individuals. Collaborating closely with his wife and partner, Mirjam, Edwin leads individuals through periods of change. Their shared mission revolves around forging impactful connections – connections that ignite leadership inspiration, foster team cohesion, and catalyze organizational transformation.
Cement describes the indispensable element of well-functioning teams: connection. While keeping a close eye on the 9 essential building blocks.
These 9 Building Blocks for Connection, in fact, form the basis of every challenge. And it's precisely the combination of the cement with the blocks that has a positive effect on organizations.
An audiobook of it will be accessible in English starting from the autumn of 2023.
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