PROFILE: Change management

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    Why is it difficult to make it part of business as usual?

    Change Management is not well understood amongst business leaders plus the skills to perform it do not occur in many businesses as a norm. Sometimes people expect IT solutions to provide the silver bullet to cure this but it does not and ends up transferring the problem from the business to IT.

    In many cases resistance to change is under estimated, for example key performance indicators built into the existing systems can be counter-productive to change; businesses do not identify the benefits associated with change and do not monitor whether the change has been implemented and is sustainable.

    So how can we change this? Why should we change this?

    Change is a way of life and the two quotes that underline this: J F Kennedy said:

    “Change is the law of life and that those that look only at the past or the present will miss the future.”

    Whilst Winston Churchill said:

    “To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.”

    So what do we mean by Change Management and who is involved?

    This is the transformation of a way a company does business and facilitates the removal of waste and poor practice. It needs a change of behaviour at all levels from Senior Executives and Departmental Managers, to front line staff.

    Why is it so hard?

    First of all any change requires a goal and a vision and staff in a business need to be able to see their own benefits as well as the corporate ones to participate in any change that is required. Change is the movement from the known to the unknown with the resultant fear of it. Change will require clarity and consistency in a person’s role, how they will be measured, and decision making skills that they will need. This will identify the gap between their present skills and those required to make the change a success.

    So what are the key elements that are required to be understood to make change successful?

    The first of these is the development of a vision. There are a number of tools to help companies do this, such as Target Operating Models that enable senior managers to articulate the vision. Done well these define the future state in terms of processes, business rules and job roles; leading to a change agenda covering organisation, roles and processes.

    If we get this right then change is not guaranteed to be successful, but it certainly lays the groundwork for it to be.

    What are the benefits and what follows on behind a change programme?

    A better ability to measure and manage processes, embedding of change skills and the mind-set can ensure that continuous of business as usual. This avoids the problem that change has not been tackled for such a long time irrespective of many changes in technology, mergers and acquisitions or growth, requiring huge jumps making change painful and quite scary.

    A number of quantifiable benefits such as increased business performance, bottom line performance growth and better agility within the market place can be achieved. Increasing the staff contribution by getting them to be enthusiastic about embracing change and moving the business forward. Improving measurements can enable staff to contribute effectively to business performance, they can also potentially reduce external support costs, avoiding handing the change programme to external agencies.

    At H3 Partners what we do is provide both the facilitation and mentoring of internal change teams and management teams as well as leaving our customers with the tools, techniques and the confidence to sustain improvement is buried and becomes a part change going forward. Successful change programmes are fun to be engaged in and leave many of the participants with a real array of new skills and able to make a better contribution to the business.

    Rod Horrocks

    CEO and Founder

    H3 Partners Ltd

    Tel: +44 (0) 777 211 4896

    Tel: +44 (0) 845 118 0072

    rod@h3partners.co.uk

    www.h3partners.co.uk

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