Category Archives: Change Function

Selling a change

How useful are selling skills for Stakeholder Engagement?

Strategy in Change
Stakeholder engagement is frequently difficult. The change team need to get stakeholders engaged and often positively involved in a change for success. Since the power in the relationship often lies with the stakeholder it seems to me this is a similar situation to a salesman-customer interaction. There are a number of basic marketing and sales models used in stakeholder engagement literature; this article argues that individual sales skills are also important.

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The failure dilemma for change management

The Dilemma

SuccessFailureWhat about the mythical 70% failure rate for change in organisations? This has been searched for quite dilligently in the literature by Mark Hughes; who concluded that although well reported by very respected reporters, there was very little substantial measurement data to support the reports. Hence it becomes an urban myth. The dilemma is: what is the cause of the myth? Is it a myth about performance in doing change (the reality is that the success rate is much higher); or is the cause in the way success (and hence failure) is defined?

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Middle managers to drive change

What does it take to succeed in change?

shutterstock_121409479Middle managers in most organisations have a huge influence over the success of organisational change. Most middle managers are passive about change; a few step up to delivering change; all of them need to be behind the change. Some recent blogs point to how to get middle managers on the side of success in change.

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The strategy dilemma for change

Strategy in ChangeTranslating a guess into a plan

The dilemma for change managers leading a strategic organisation change is translating the uncertainty of the strategic analysis and decisions into actionable plans to deliver benefits. The problem is that there is no right answer to the question “what should our strategy be?”

The strategists have looked into the future using a number of strategy tools and have identified some scenarios which appear to be good for the organisation. The resulting strategy they have chosen (captured in their strategic objectives for the organisation) is dependent on an array of factors, some under the control of the organisation, many are not. Since it is not possible to carry out a trial of the strategy you have to run with the one chosen and make the best of it.

In making the best of the current strategy the change leader must also hedge some futures so that any changes made to the organisation keep open as many options as possible for the future and don’t back the organisation into a position where it no longer works in the reality that arises.

What can the change leaders do to manage their dilemma?

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Three Myths for Change

Applying strategic thinking to change

Three MythsIn a recent blog posting on HBR Nick Tassler wrote about three myths he has found in strategic thinking. I thought these ideas have just as much relevance for Managing Change. These three myths help to focus on doing the right things to make a difference with the resources available — sound familiar? Yet look around you, are you really focussed on making a difference or is there some ‘make work’ in there as well? My recent experience at meetings and consulting with a local authority have again awoken my awareness of the pervasive Parkinson’s Law.

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