Improving your change capability

Change capability can often be an impediment, why not make it a differentiator instead? If you’re struggling to keep pace with BAU or are about to embark on a complex transformation, now is a good time to look at your change capability to ensure it can match your ambition. 



It won’t improve itself


All too often we see senior execs and business areas complaining about their change capability. We hear things like: 


‘we don’t know how to get change approved and started’; ‘it takes too long to get things done’; ‘nothing works first time’; or ‘it costs too much’. 


Yet surprisingly, the status quo is often allowed to continue for years, in the hope that somehow things will eventually improve, or even worse, expectations reduce to match existing capability. 



A common mistake 


One of the most common mistakes is when an organisation decides to embark on an ambitious transformation. The business case is agreed, hard won funding is approved and expectations are high. 


Then inexplicably, hopes and dreams are placed in the hands of the same change teams that had previously struggled to deliver BAU – often with a few ‘specialists’ added to bolster their ranks. This inevitably results in false starts, higher costs, recovery measures and shattered dreams. 



It doesn’t have to be doom and gloom 


Focus on making change capability a differentiator, whether it’s to deliver BAU or an ambitious transformation agenda. Follow these simple steps to make a real difference: 


  • Insert exceptional capability to create a galvanising effect on the rest of the team 
  • Balance the team with experienced and developing staff 
  • Invest in areas that will have the maximum impact 
  • Ask stakeholders to help you unlock budget. 


Importantly, make sure you act early and decisively before the decision is taken out of your hands. 



Where do you start – the pros and cons? 


Accepting that you need to improve, then gaining stakeholder and financial support is an important first step. You then need to decide if you want to manage the improvement in-house, possibly with your People and Recruitment teams or engage a consulting firm for support. 


The potential benefits of in-house recruitment include lower upfront costs and the ability to select candidates that will develop with you for years to come. The potential downsides include lengthy recruitment timescales and difficulty in recruiting to a high enough level to make the right impact. It may also result in ongoing costs that will not be needed once the transformation is complete. 


The potential benefits of engaging a consulting firm include the ability to insert multiple, highly capable experts in a short period of time, thereby creating maximum impact. The potential downside includes having to outlay higher up-front costs. 


In our experience, a combination of both approaches works well. The right consulting firm will seed-in the required change capability to create a galvanising effect and increase stakeholder confidence. 


They will then work with you and your people and recruitment teams to develop a plan of action to recruit the right permanent team to uplift your change capability for the long term. If this sounds all too familiar, acting now will help to make change capability a differentiator for your business! 



Do you need to improve your change capability?


At Project One, we help our customers improve their change capability. Whether it’s inserting one or two highly capable consultants to galvanise a team or a complete uplift to prepare for an organisation-wide transformation.


Our team of change experts have years of experience, helping our customers through every step of their journey.


To discuss further, please contact Nick Houlton 

Mobile: 07716 075616  | email: 

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