It can take time for people to properly understand organisational change, and the role that leaders play in propelling others along the change journey with them.
We’ve worked with organisations of all kinds and it can be surprising to see how some overlook the importance of handling change correctly, in large part by taking a systems approach.
Banking on a new approach
From the outside, one big-four bank’s financial technology division appeared well versed in how to manage change; after all, it was at the forefront of innovation, with constant tech developments and regulatory changes meaning it had to thrive in a state of flux.
Each year the firm spent over $9m on specialist change resources – but when we looked closely, managing change from within had been reduced to just matters of ‘training and comms’ and even these were managed inconsistently.
There was a chasm within the company where change wasn’t being properly managed, meaning they were missing out on support for the impressive tech the bank invested in, both internally and from customers. During our investigation of the state of play, many executives even admitted that “change management is important but we do it poorly.”
Going beyond training
So how does change management reach beyond simply training the workforce on new ways of working, and updating staff through the official comms channels?
At Blue Seed, we believe it’s about the strategic elements, the mindset, behaviour, culture and systems that drive awareness: that means creating a narrative that works, getting the right leaders – who can drive and inspire their teams – on board then measuring every change components and working on any areas lagging. More than anything, it’s about the strong and active partnership between the internal change practice and the business leaders. One can’t succeed without the other, and leaders must shoulder the responsibility of leading change within their own business.
Leaders of the future will act as both orchestrators and enablers of change and deliver value by unleashing the potential in individuals and teams. They’ll need a wealth of cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence and healthy doses of courage, with honed communication skills, to chart the course effectively – all part of what we call Change Intelligence (CQ). Here’s a 2-min video explainer worth watching.
Using a Change Intelligence Approach
For our banking giant, we recommended securing a change manager at the executive level to lead a two-year improvement strategy we devised – including measuring change adoption and support – and to ensure there was consistent quality and efficiency across the division’s programs. This executive would also be a key Change Evangelist and empower (with active support) divisional leaders and middle managers to play their part too.
This change leader role was a key component of the new centralised change practice model we helped to introduce. The refreshed operating model will naturally change and evolve over time, so we’re monitoring the progress in partnership and we’re confident that our client will go from good to great in terms of change culture, capacity and capability, ultimately benefiting their whole business system and their customers.
Read more about our approach in this Case Study.
Can we support you?
It is your time to brace for the headwinds of change and use them to propel your organisation towards its future. Now is the time to be bright and bold with a keen eye for exciting opportunity and with the right help, any organisation can truly embrace change… and the possibility of change intelligence is absolutely within reach. Learn more about Blue Seed’s Change Intelligence approach.
Our purpose is to make transformational change achievable and create a lasting capability for our clients. Our unique approach empowers organisations to create the best return on investment for their change efforts.
We’ve seen that the sooner an organisation is willing to identify and address its (human) change capability needs and gaps in detail, the quicker it will be likely to reap the rewards.