Leadership Expert Mary C. Kelly, PhD Says Change Management Is Key to Success in Business

DENVER, Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Keeping ahead of advancing technology and a changing business environment means continually adapting and implementing new ideas to remain successful.

"Many executives shy away from making changes both in their organization and with new products. Many business leaders don't like having to alter organizational procedures, processes in general because the status quo is comfortable," said Mary C. Kelly, PhD, President of Productive Leaders, which helps companies increase leadership, communication and productivity.

"If you are the person in charge, this is a frustrating ordeal. You are tasked with implementing a new system or product, and you encounter active resistance. It starts with denial, the 'this is the way we've always done it' mentality."

Kelly, author of "15 Ways to Grow Your Business in Every Economy," often asks executives, "What do you do to manage change in a company? How are you staying ahead of the curve?"

In her keynote business speeches, Kelly addresses issues about change management strategies.

As a consultant to businesses involved in change management, Kelly says business leaders worry because:

1. Implementation is slow. The organization takes so long that people lose interest, incur additional costs, add time, and increase reworks. By the time they implement the new system, it is already outdated.

2. No sense of urgency by leaders. When leaders are not the first ones to embrace the new system, it leads the team to think it isn't important.

3. Lack of understanding of employee resistance, attrition, feelings and considerations. Employees may actively work against the new product or system because they are comfortable with the current working environment. The people who made 8-track tapes didn't want to learn how to make cassette tapes either.

4. No perceived ultimate benefits by the end users. If the advantages of the new system are not obvious, the comparison is going to be negative. "This isn't much better than the old system. Why are we spending all of this time and money on this?"

Have you ever bought a new computer update and were disappointed? This leads to lack of morale, loss of productivity, and a sincere lack of effort to adapt.

5. Lack of confidence in the new system or product. Employees worry that the new system will be just a bridge to yet another new system. "If you are replacing a system and it is not of immediate benefit to those inconvenienced, they will become hostile, not only to their own staff, but to customers, too," Kelly said.

"To make change work, organizations need continuous improvement, user feedback, available help with questions and early and constant relevant training," she added.

When Kelly consults with companies, she ensures these points:

  • Make sure that the change you want to make in an organization is worthwhile and clearly communicated.
  • Make sure that leadership is fully behind the implementation.
  • Make sure the schedule includes ample and appropriate training time.
  • Make sure that people understand the "why" and not just the "what."

"Real change for improved performance, increases effectiveness, delivers better products or services, and better serves the user," she said. "Do it right."

About Mary C. Kelly

Mary C. Kelly, PhD is a nationally recognized and renowned economist and leadership expert specializing in improving business efficiency and maximizing available resources. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Mary has trained over 20,000 military and civilian personnel in multi-cultural environments around the world. She served 21 years as a commissioned officer in the Navy, and retired as a commander.

Mary taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Hawaii Pacific University. With extensive experience in human resources, finance, insurance, organizational leadership, strategic planning, and project development, she focuses on building successful strategies for business leaders at all levels of an organization.

SOURCE Mary C. Kelly, PhD