In my experience, organisations seem to fall into one of three categories when it comes to their approaches for getting better at delivering change.
(1) Make It All About Training
The first type focuses their effort and energy on training around change. They take their people and ‘teach’ them about change through a training course. They’ll walk through Kotter’s eight steps for leading change. They will focus on resistance and how to overcome it (maybe using the SCARF model), and then they’ll do something about emotional responses to change, probably using Kubler-Ross’ change curve. The training is normally delivered pretty well and everyone enjoys it – and it makes virtually no difference to how well change is delivered back in the office the next week.
(2) Focus on Tools and Methods
The second approach for getting better at delivering change is to focus on the tools and methodology that are used to deliver change. All of the conversations and efforts are about the right Change Strategy, Impact Assessment or Communication Plan templates. What should be in them, what the headings for the column should be and how they link together. Any training is on how to use these tools and ‘success’ is measured by adherence to the methodology and completion of the templates. A focus on delivering successful change outcomes or actually make a difference to the business or, heaven forbid, customers, is of secondary importance, if at all.
(3) Outsource Change Delivery
The last approach is to outsource change delivery. Organisations that use this approach take the ‘buy not build’ approach. They hire in a number of change management contractors because they don’t believe they have the skills in-house. They may see an improvement in the way the specific changes are delivered with this professional support. However, when the project is finished the organisation has very little improvement in their ability to drive further changes, and they run the risk of becoming dependent on expensive outside change resource.
One of the fundamental reasons we started Influencing Change was because these approaches were all we saw in organisations to get better at change and they JUST DON’T WORK.
So if these three common approaches offer little in the way of building an organisation’s capability to deliver successful change consistently, how do you do it? Please check out our ‘Building a Change Capable Organisation‘ model that starts to outline the focus areas required to do build change capability in a structured, coordinated and holistic way.
Or contact us to discuss how we can help you in building the change capable organisation.