Tag Archives: stakeholders & communications

Avoiding Blunders

Blunder: a spectacular change failure

Government BlundersA book I have just finished reading contains some excellent ideas for avoiding a complete failure in a change. The book, The Blunders of our Governments by Prof. Anthony King and Sir Ivor Crewe describes a series of major blunders by our governments. In each case a government minister set out a radical change in the way things are done and ended up wasting billions of pounds and abandoning the change. The most famous is the introduction of the poll tax; but there are eleven biggies in here. As with many significant change failures, its not just the government that is hurt (well its the taxpayers that foot the bill for these in-competencies) but also customers: you and me (who are also tax payers). Similarly, those at the top who should be accountable seem to have the traditional punishment of promotion and whitewash. The authors identified errors in human thinking and system errors which led to these blunders.

These are the human thinking lessons the authors put forward (the system errors are in the next blog posting): click here to see the lessons

Quick, effective decision making

Mid Level Manager MLMGood enough decisions

Making decisions in a fast moving change initiative with deadlines and issues is very hard. Making the best decisions is impossible. Yet most managers in a change are hung out to dry for their bad decisions (with hindsight).

A re-think about decision making and the culture around it is needed to improve decision making and thus produce better decisions.

click here to find out how

How to persuade people to change

RobertCialdiniPersuasion skills for a Change Manager

There are two basic ways to get people to do what you want: tell them and ask them. Actually, telling people is incredibly effective and works more often that you might expect. Tell is really the tool of the manager. I remember when I first became a manager (actually I received the badge of being a manager, it is not the same as doing management) the first question I had for my manager was: ‘how do I get people to do things?’ to which his simple answer was ‘just tell them’; it was my first lesson in effective communication! Unfortunately, a change manager is not a line manager so the tell option is not so effective and the ask option is much more likely to be used. How can a change manager ask people to change? The answer must be in the change manager’s ability to persuade people to change. Based on an article in the HBR by Robert Cialdini here are six Principles of Persuasion that can extend the persuasive powers of a change manager.

Click here to find out what the principles are and how they work

Communications: urgent or important?

CommsBlogImageThe communications challenge

On a course recently a participant offered a throw-away comment during a discussion on stakeholder engagement: “I find there is so much stuff I have to do that I don’t have the time for communications”. This seemed to sum up for me the way projects and change teams deal with communications and why a lot of change initiatives fail for a lack of good communication! The question is: what can we do about it?

Click here to find the answer

Using a capability model for organisation change

Go and take the survey nowChange Capability Model

We have developed a simple capability model for organisation change. The purpose is to better understand the nature of organisation change and how people go about it.

The model allows us to explain what sort of training is useful given the organisation’s capability maturity (i.e. the level they are at). It also explains how to make better use of training to improve change capability. We have already asserted the need for organisations to increase their change capability as the outside world changes faster and faster.

Generally a capability model enables an organisation to benchmark itself (where are we now) against the model and then produce a plan to improve its capability (where do we want to be) which is realistic and reflects the real issues it faces now.

C4CM Capability Model

Our model follows the generic capability model and is aligned with the UK Government maturity model for Portfolios, Programmes and Projects (P3M3). Our levels are:

  • Level 1: essentially the organisation does not know how well it does change and does not realise it could improve — blissful ignorance!
  • Level 2: some staff are working hard to deliver good change; but against a tide of senior management indifference and organisational stupor — an age of heroes!
  • Level 3: the whole organisation is now doing change the same way with full senior management support; results are better but still patchy — getting there.
  • Level 4: the organisation is measuring performance, outcomes and benefits which leads to consistently better change — effective change at last.
  • Level 5: the organisation is applying its learning culture to improve its change processes into a strategically important capability — a winner.

As well as the levels of capability our model includes some specific aspects of change competence:

  • Leadership and governance
  • Processes and roles
  • Knowledge and skills
  • Managing change

We also look at the way the organisation uses four key skills in managing change (which are reflected in our training qualifications):

Assessment

We have devised a survey questionnaire to assess the level of an organisation. If you would like to use the survey tool on your organisation then please get in touch with us. It requires a number of people within the organisation to take the survey to get a useful picture.

We also have a simpler and quicker self test questionnaire to help you see where you as an individual might fit into the capability model. The model identifies individual behaviours at each level and obviously individuals will vary. Beware, you may find that the behaviours you can exhibit are limited by the capability of the organisation around you. For instance: it will be very difficult to be a level 4 individual in an organisation that does not measure change effects and does not have a performance management culture.