change management

Methodology for Change Management in Complex Environments

We have developed a Change Management Methodology that guides all our change management efforts across the transformation programme. This methodology helps communicate the transformation process. It outlines the four phases and activities to be undertaken as we prepare, facilitate and reinforce change. More than steps with instructions, the methodology outlines the basic guidance for change management; it includes the elements that are most important for each phase, and ensures all interventions are compliant with our Core Principles for organisational change.

We define “change management” as the process of engaging and supporting people at all levels of the organisation as they adapt to new ways of working. By addressing the social element of change, our approach aims to ensure that people are ready, willing and able to adopt new behaviours while letting go of old ones. Change management addresses stakeholder needs, secures their support and minimizes resistance to change.

Stages of the Change Process

There are four stages that people typically go through to adapt to change:

  • Awareness. At the beginning of a change effort, people usually know little or nothing about the change program, which can cause confusion. We will support you to provide a background for why the change is happening and what to expect.
  • Understanding. Without understanding how their day-to-day work or experience with the organisation will change, people may develop misconceptions or negative perceptions. We will provide support to help people understand what processes will be modified, how their roles will change and the benefits that will be realized as a result of the change.
  • Ability. Before people can fully embrace a change, they need the knowledge and skills to perform well in the new environment. Using our diagnostics tools we will identify the gaps in either individual or corporate capabilities and develop initiatives to address these.
  • Ownership. Change management involves staff and stakeholders throughout the process so that they will adopt the change, work successfully in their new environment and feel they have contributed to the organisation’s transformation.

For a Transformation programme to be successful, programme activities need to move an organisation, its staff and its stakeholders from a state of “awareness” about change to a state of “ownership.” From our experience of supporting large scale change programs, building relationships at all levels is critical so that staff have trust in the journey that the Force is undertaking. A common failure of change is the belief that the more authoritarian or top down approach to management removes the need to spend time building relationships at the lower levels of an organisation. This overlooks the fact that a strong relationship builds trust, and with trust comes the confidence to adopt new ways of working.

Change Management Core Principles

  • Creating a Shared Understanding of Change – We will work with your leadership team, staff and other stakeholders, to ensure they have a shared understanding of organisational transformation. We will know that we’ve achieved this when they understand the scope of the overall transformation, how the programme supports your vision, mission and new operating model.
  • Transformation Leadership – Leadership, in formal and informal ways, in all parts of organisation and at multiple levels will be critical for successful change to happen. They demonstrate a commitment to communicate consistently and openly, empower others to take action, model new behaviours and hold themselves and team members accountable for outcomes.
  • Building Change Competency -We can facilitate the developing and embedding of “change competency” within the organisation. While formal change management activities will occur as part of the program, change competency is the ability not only to execute change management activities, but also to support others in developing change leadership skills.
  • Stakeholder Engagement – Every transformation effort involves a range of stakeholders, many with different perspectives and aspirations for the change. We will work with you to build a network of Change Agents to form an extension to the core transformation team.
  • Communications – Communicating change is an on-going process, and its necessity is arguably one of the greatest lessons learned about successful transformation programmes. Effective communications increases awareness and understanding, builds support for change and motivates others to participate.
  • Cultural Transformation – Every organisation has a culture much like every person has a personality. Often described as “the way we do things around here”, it is about shared set of assumptions, values, behaviours and symbols of the people within the organisation. .
  • Aligning Systems and Structures – Transformation efforts realign all parts of the organisation. As you implement a new ways of working, we will support you to ensure that new performance metrics, operating structures, operational procedures, and supporting processes and systems are all aligned to ensure the benefits can be realized in the most efficient and effective way.
  • Ensuring Sustainability – Successful change management is not evaluated by the implementation of a changed structure or a new system, but by the organisation’s ability to maintain the change over time. Sustainability is determined by asking not if the change was deployed, but whether the new behaviours have lasted.

By Dr. Amanat Hussain, Chief Operating Officer, BGS Ltd.