Mining and Change – Who is Responsible for the Adoption of Change?

In my last blog post, I talked about the role of change management in the digital reinvention of mining, and how properly managed change can increase speed of adoption, smooth transitions, and ensure new processes or tools are used to their fullest capacity.

But who is ultimately responsible for the adoption of change?

I’ll assume your project management team has figured out the solution you need, and can manage the implementation of the technology. Their deliverables are usually clear – meet targets on time and on budget. Ensure required training occurs. Check off the steps toward go live, and ensure the new project or technology is measured and delivering on how it is supposed to work from a technical standpoint.

Now, as I mentioned in my last blog post, change management seeks to add another complementary layer to the work of your project management team, communicating the reasons for the change, as well as creating awareness and desire by effectively communicating the need and personal impact of the change.

Image courtesy of Atlas Copco

But it’s about much more than that. A good change management firm goes beyond communication through the implementation, and is personally invested in making sure that the technology implementation is getting you the return on investment that you set out to achieve. Where and when there’re any dependence on human interaction to be able to adopt the technology, change management becomes absolutely essential. This could be direct interaction with change, an impact they feel, or simply being a stakeholder.

For example, if you are going to implement automated mucking underground, in the absence of information, human beings will fill in the blanks with their own stories, so they may be concerned about their safety, or their jobs, and even begin to fill in details like timelines, etc. So change management is the people side of your change, and should be a separate entity from your project management group, sponsorship group, and internal capacity group.

The smooth adoption of change, using new technology to its fullest capacity, maximizing ROI and dealing with the human element of change is the goal. So, it sounds as though your change management firm is ultimately responsible, right?

In fact, a huge part of change management is internal capacity building and the soft part of change, coaching the managers and supervisors that will continue to use the tools they’ve been provided to manage people effectively and sustain the benefits of the changes you’ve made. A good change management firm ultimately has good behavior analyst, great assessment capabilities, and tested, effective tools to develop emotional intelligence (EQ) and self awareness, so that managers and supervisors understand their roles in implementing and coaching on the various changes that are upcoming.

This is particularly important because these leaders are the ones impacted most heavily by change, as they are usually the “sandwich” area, connected directly to both the frontline and senior leadership. Not coincidentally, these are also the people who will ultimately be responsible for ensuring a successful change initiative, because they will continue to work with their staff and use the tools, both literal and figurative, that your project team and change management firm leave behind long after they’ve moved on to the next initiative.

Image Courtesy of Atlas Copco

PACE – Partners in Achieving Change Excellence will work with your frontline leadership, assessing their readiness for change and providing whatever tools, coaching, and guidance they require to help their teams navigate the changing landscape of mining. Working together, we are helping organizations lead the drive in mining towards new technology adoption, digital transformation, and improved productivity and return on investment.

Next time, we’ll talk about what you are trying to achieve through short interval control underground, and how effective change management can help.