Can I deliver this change today?

The timing of any change project, as discussed in my last blog , is crucial. With the need for change often pressing, what issues can prevent organisations from implementing change initiatives immediately?

To test an organisation’s readiness for transformational change, close attention should be paid to whether the change is justifiable, if the solution is the right type and if it is the right time, as considered in preceding blogs.

Once these have been carefully and properly thought through, further assessment is needed to identify anything that might prevent change from being implemented without delay. Fully understanding any issues that might inhibit or undermine successful implementation is crucial, especially given the high failure rate of senior leaders’ visions at the execution stage. Across all business, there are common issues that can cause transformational change projects to unravel. Underestimating staff-related matters is one such reason. Consider, if change could be implemented immediately, would staff embrace it? As outlined in the first blog in this series, achieving close alignment for the corporate vision across the entire business, from the executive team to most junior employee, is essential. It is paramount to manage expectations and potential resistance early. Staff will then feel valued and more likely to help drive the change than resist it. Realistic assessment of whether staff have the right skills and experience necessary to successfully implement what is often a long list of changes is also vital.

Change delivery options: To reach the point of readiness where a programme can begin, most organisations also do at least one of the following to successfully introduce change into their business:

  • Move something off the current priority list to make the change happen. This may make some staff feel unhappy or even marginalised – be ready to manage that
  • Hire temporary staff on a contract basis to form a team, picking the best individuals available
  • Enlist the help of a solution vendor with a proven track record of delivering similar projects in the market
  • Deliver change using a consultancy that can manage the change and has the interpersonal skills to work harmoniously with all other stakeholders such as vendors, IT, individual staff members and the management team

  • Close and careful supervision of the issues described here and in previous blogs throughout the implementation period, will help ensure and maximise the chances of success. Once complete, the hopefully enhanced organisation can return to normal. This will however be new normal, which will be different to what it was previously. Preparing for that will be considered in my next blog “What does success looks like?” where I’d be looking to hear your views on the above options and your experiences to see how you’d approach delivering change in your world.

    By Parminder Kaur
    Director Consulting