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Build it, and they will come

Build it, and they will come

Nicola Hopes

6 June 2023

Ever find yourself wondering why change isn’t getting easier?

The issue might be that you aren’t building the right change capability.

According to the latest McKinsey research on the change readiness of organisations, almost half of your team members and colleagues believe that more change is coming, BUT you’re not building the skills to deliver and adopt it.

Now, you may subscribe to the old adage that there are lies, damn lies and statistics… but before you dismiss the stats, pat yourself on the back for a recent project success and move on…

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you get frustrated with how long change takes to deliver?
  • How many of your projects run significantly over time or budget?
  • Do you rely on armies of external contractors and consultants to cope with the scale of change?
  • How easy do you find it to get change adopted and the benefits back?

Not so sure now, are you? So, what are we going to do about it?

I’ve taken the trouble to draft your ‘to-do’ list for you.

Goal #1: invest in your own people

External advisers and experts are good in their place (I would say that, wouldn’t I?!) but they’re no substitute for your own people, who are skilled and confident with change. People who you can call on time after time. But they don’t all have to be ‘change experts’ to make it work…

  • The best business analysts I know are curious and keen to understand how things work.
  • The best sprint/ project/ programme managers are organised and methodical, but the pièce de résistance is they simplify complexity into stages and understand the people and culture they work with.
  • The best product owners are technical enough to understand how the products function (and not get fobbed off by suppliers). But they also understand and relate to the business teams the products serve, so they can translate that functionality into real business solutions.

Note: none of the above criteria includes how long they need to have done that role or how many certificates they have!

Find people with great raw potential and give them a chance to boost their skills.

Goal #2: focus on getting better

Continuous improvement seems like an obvious suggestion, but it so often receives lip service. You've heard me say before – writing down a lesson doesn’t mean you’ve learned it!

Having a process and training people is only the start. Focus on constantly making it better. And simpler.

If you find something that works (or doesn’t work for your organisation) don’t just hope you remember for next time. Build it into the decision-making, the steps you go through, the documents you write – and ensure your success.

If you find something that doesn’t add value, bin it and save yourself time and money next time round. (added round)

Goal #3: seek diversity

Having a bunch of people who’ve all worked for similar organisations and have the same industry standard qualification doesn’t give you a range of experiences and ideas.

You need diversity – and I’m not just saying this in pride month. It’s a fact that tapping into different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives is the fastest way to solve problems. Find people who think differently, ask them to collaborate on the project and watch the creativity flow.

I’m very aware that the above actions are adding to an already full ‘to-do’ list. But these goals are designed to pay back dividends quickly.

I mean, ask yourself – in the light of the change context we find ourselves in – what’s the alternative?

PS. Do you want best practice without wading through the theory? Are you curious to know how others are nailing change, but just don't have the time to find out?

Then look no further than the Change Confidence Blueprint.

This is a tried and tested blueprint that helps you deliver change cheaper, faster and with fewer people. A set of tools and techniques to enable you and your team to embrace change with more confidence and, crucially more success.

Benefit from my experience and the experience and insight of 23 organisations across 15 industries - including Tech, Education, Sport, Motor, Finance, Retail, Building, Property, Manufacturing, Power, Travel, Law, Logistics, Local Authorities and Charities.

It’s flexible depending on your needs so can be delivered as:

  • Keynote speeches
  • Masterclasses
  • Programmes

The above can be incorporated into your team away day, your conference or within a personal development programme.

Tell me more about Change Confidence.

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