Organisations of all types are confronting unprecedented changes in their competitive environments. A myriad of political, environmental and consumer disruptors, along with the challenges posed by unicorn start-ups, are posing a range of threats, to which organisations must respond with agility, creativity, adaptability and more.
Too many organisations struggle to successfully deliver their change initiatives.
Organisational projects or initiatives, normally undertaken in response to a need to change or improve, are often unsuccessful. In fact, about two thirds of all such efforts fail. Why? The number one reason is lack of people involvement – a failure to engage the people who actually need to change what they are doing or how they are doing it.
Successful organisational change is all about learning – people learning to work differently or to do different work.
It is vital that the form, content and language of a change strategy are always challenged, as there is no ‘one size fits all’ method of doing change. Instead, dialogue, collaboration and community at all levels are essential, as they catalyse action and maximise learning, which is a core part of any change process. An organisation is a collection of people. For the organisation to change, the people within that organisation need to change how they work or what they do.
Change is a deeply personal human process that requires purpose and ownership. In order to be successful, change initiatives must recognise that people don’t resist change, they simply resist being changed. Ultimately, people own what they create.
4 reframes for successful organisational change
Impact help organisations make two profound changes to their change management strategies:
- Catalysing change: widening participation and engaging all levels in owning the change process radically improves the chances of success. Therefore, we shift away from cascading a change message, and move towards catalysing change throughout organisations. We do this by involving everyone in the process of designing and implementing the change, which isn’t easy.
- Focus on learning: we shift the language of change from knowing to learning. The more complex and significant the change management agenda, the more we need to focus on learning. The outcome of all change management activity is, in the end, people having learned to do work differently or to do different work.
Put simply… no learning, no change.
We believe these 4 reframes can help organisations to turn their unwieldly change management objectives into reality by using a people-centred organisational change approach:
Scanning – delving into an organisation and collecting an array of new and existing data and insights.
Disrupting – Developing creative techniques to disrupt the status quo in an organisation will open up capacity and opportunity for creative transformation – learning to work differently or to do different work.
Playback – Creating continuous feedback loops throughout an organisation will encourage and enable ongoing learning and transformation.
Creating – It is vital to truly engage people in the change management process, instead of simply cascading a change strategy. This involves equipping everyone with the skills needed for the future of work, such as coaching, leadership, collective intergenerational learning, inclusion and meaningful dialogue.
Impact are an independent, award-winning global people development agency. We apply our unique experiential learning methodology to create customised solutions for organisations who want to succeed in highly competitive and high change environments.
Since 1980 we have worked as a creative change agency at the intersection of leadership, people development strategy, business transformation and sustainable innovation. Our methods are action orientated and results focused, helping organisations to execute their vision, deliver their plans and achieve real performance improvements.