Change is the only constant in life. The organisations that thrive are the ones who can respond to the ever-changing climate. But change capability can’t just be bought – it needs to be built into organisations over a period, so that they’re able to deliver and adopt change at pace for years to come.
What is change capability?
Change capability is an organisation’s ability to plan, design, and implement change effectively and efficiently across their business. In essence, it is a measure of agility, of how capable a company is of delivering long term change with minimal disruption to both the operations of the business and the people that work within it.
Building sustainable change capability within your organisation can ensure that any modifications made to the structures, operations, or culture of your business are accepted and long-lasting; not just embedded but woven deeply into the ins-and-outs of how you work.
Building organisational change capability
Think to the future
Often project or programmes are started and the end goal, or the future state, which includes behaviour changes have not been sufficiently identified at the outset. Much like any project your organisation undergoes, change requires an intentional end goal to be implemented successfully. Once you’ve done your initial planning and established where your company stands currently, you’ll be able to visualise where you want it to be once the changes have been made.
This is also a great way to ensure that any changes you make are necessary and contribute to the overall success of your business’s journey.
Involve key stakeholders
Your key stakeholders, such as your sponsors and your executive leadership team, set the tone for the rest of your organisation. By involving them in the management and promotion of change, you’ll generate positive perceptions that will be picked up by the rest of your team. They can then provide your organisation with the support and direction it needs to successfully embrace the changes you’re making, removing blockers along the way.
Manage change like a project
Improve your change capability by applying the planning and structure of project management to your organisational change. Start by assessing your current capabilities, then design a solution that enables you to execute your changes step by step and fully integrate them into your business.
Adopt a holistic approach
A common issue in programmes, is to focus on the changes delivered by individual projects and not to get the helicopter view of all the changes which are affecting your organisation at one time. Don’t let one area of your organisation slip by focusing too hard on one thing at once. The most important thing to consider when improving change capability is how you can identify the impact of changes affecting people, as well as procedures, and how this gets translated into readiness plans. Is anything falling short during the implementation process?
A holistic approach is about developing a set of processes, tools and capabilities which ensure you have a tried and tested way of consistently delivering change, regardless of whether it is a technical implementation, an organisation design or the review of your values and ways of working. This can be through the creation of a Change Management Office or by delivering extra training for your teams.