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Good change management: back to basics

In our article ‘Moving past the emperor’s new clothes: bridging the gap between strategy and implementation’ we advised that programme directors need to ‘add a healthy dose of realism so that the audience of the change and those delivering it understand what is happening, why and what it means to them’. This realism needs to be applied to the practicalities of delivering the change.

To deliver change successfully, the human element of change must be fully considered and be an integral part of the programme/project delivery approach. Leaders of change programmes should:

  • Reflect on the impact of change, both as recipient and leader, to improve their anticipation of people risks and support the design of change interventions.

  • Be aware of the ‘toolbox’ of business change management activity to consider through the project cycle and into BAU.

  • Plan for, facilitate and measure business readiness.

  • Understand the shared responsibilities for business change management across project teams and within the business.

  • Feel able to explain and advocate the need for change leadership to key stakeholders.

  • Build adequate resource into the programme budget for business change management (over and above basic communications and training).

We have previously explained the importance of identifying your leadership capabilities and encouraging training to learn, enhance or refresh the skills needed for the change you’re implementing. Supporting this is the delivery of a thorough, pragmatic change delivery approach. Marlowe recommends considering four elements of a change management plan:

  • Lead: Ensuring leaders are aligned with the vision and are working as an effective team

  • Plan: Fully assess the impact of the changes on the organisation, at a high level and team-by-team and role-by-role. Based on this ‘change impact assessment’ develop a comprehensive business change plan that encompasses engagement, communications, listening, education, organisation alignment (e.g. HR-led changes) and other levers to influence employees’ ways of working. Develop metrics to track the success of the change management.

  • Engage: Implement the business change plan and ensure impacted employees are listened to rather than ‘done’ to. Continually adjust and improve the change management delivery in response to metrics and feedback.

  • Sustain: Build and implement a plan to ensure the changes persist once the change programme ends. This can include culture change, continual improvement and ongoing capability build.

Taking the time to plan change can minimise the stress of transition and will build the confidence to manage the change and make it stick. By applying powerful strategies, tools and techniques you’ll be able to motivate people, manage influential stakeholders and build organisational change readiness. It will be valuable time well spent.


About Marlowe

At Marlowe we partner with you and your organisation to deliver large scale, complex transformation and change. We deliver business change solutions, change capability, assurance, training, leadership effectiveness and cultural change.

Our focus is on your people to ensure your change is delivered practically, successfully and sustainably.

Please contact us to find out more about how we can help you deliver business change effectively.

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