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Strategy and change delivery

Making change happen.

We keep things simple. We apply tools and techniques in a pragmatic (rather than dogmatic) way, to define and deliver change successfully

We help clients define and deliver change through:

  • Creating the climate for change
  • Engaging and enabling the organisation, and
  • Implementing and sustaining the change.

We can lead or advise at any point in the cycle, in part, or from start to finish. Lots of people talk about it; but few do it well.

We keep things simple. We apply tools and techniques in a pragmatic (rather than dogmatic) way, to define and deliver change successfully.

  • Why change; what are the drivers?
  • What are you changing from and to?
  • Who is involved? – Either directly in delivery or impacted in some way
  • How will the change be delivered?
  • When will it be delivered?

Why change?

Without understanding the reasons for change, making it happen – and more importantly making it stick – can be extremely difficult.

Whatever the reason we help our clients to clearly understand the situation through strategy development or strategic thinking:

  • Diagnosing the situation and the outcomes that need to be achieved
  • Establishing a framework for change – the guiding policy
  • Developing the key actions required, linking proximate objectives to the desired outcomes.

We then help our clients use these to develop a compelling change of narrative – the story explaining why the change is so important to help build buy-in and support from everyone who will be impacted by it.

What are you changing from or to?

We help clients to understand where they are now (the ‘as-is’ position) and, using the guiding policy, where they need to get to (the ‘to be’ position). The difference between the two – the gap (or the ambition) – is the change that needs to be delivered.

We use appropriate techniques to help:

  • Developing a target (or future) operating model – a TOM or FOM. This sets out the people, process and technology aspects of how the business could operate in the future
  • Alternative service delivery models: usually based on a TOM or FOM, we help clients explore options for the best way to deliver their desired outcomes whether through in-house transformation, shared services, outsourcing, mutualisation or (as is increasingly common) a mixed economy of some or all of these
  • Smaller scale changes might involve organisational re-design of a business unit

Our consultants are pragmatists – fully understanding the theory, but able to apply it appropriately to our clients’ circumstances.

Who is involved?

This covers both those affected by, or interested in, the change – the stakeholders – as well as those making the change happen. We help clients develop stakeholder strategies based on stakeholder maps. We use these maps to help our clients understand both where a stakeholder is now (before the change) and where, ideally, they should be given the nature of the change. This helps define the actions that need to be taken to move the stakeholder from their current position to the ideal.

Delivering change successfully also requires a number of key skills/competences, including project and programme management, change management and sponsorship/governance. We help our clients understand the skills required for the particular change (see also ‘how’ below) and, through a capability analysis where they may currently have gaps. We pride ourselves on our ability to fill those gaps; initially that might be by drawing on our skills and experience, but our aim is to make our clients self-sufficient – developing internal capability through skills and knowledge transfer or specific coaching and mentoring.

How will the change be delivered?

By definition, change should be transient – moving an organisation from one state to another – rather than business as usual. The how of change is therefore also transient – the temporary mechanisms put in place to deliver the desired outcomes. We call this architecting the change. This is where, programme, project and change management comes to the fore. The scale and nature of the change will dictate the structures required larger changes may require a programme which could be made up of constituent projects (discrete packages of work with clear deliverables in a defined timescale). Sometimes the programmes themselves are built into portfolios which allow change to be considered alongside business as usual objectives. We help our clients to establish the right structures (hence ‘architecture’), covering areas such as: governance, planning (see also ‘when’ below), monitoring/reporting, risk and issue management.

When will the change be delivered?

Last but by no means least – we help our clients schedule and plan the changes required. This can be dependent on a number offactors. For example: the scale of the change; any technology involved; any legislative requirements (dates by which things have to happen). Other considerations might be internal: What is our clients’ experience of change? What else is going on – is there change overload, or is there capacity to take on additional change?

Our consultants have deep experience of change – including the scars when things haven’t quite gone as expected. So we help to ensure those lessons learnt are incorporated in to our clients’ plans. For example, delivering everything to do with a change on one day (so-called ‘big bang’) is normally high-risk and to be avoided if at all possible. Instead, phasing changes or making them in stages can reduce delivery risk. Sometimes, big bang is unavoidable (for example if there is a legislative date by which things need to happen), but even in these instances it is normally possible to reduce the big bang elements to the absolute minimum by scheduling other delivery either side of the ‘big bang date’.

These schedules and plans form an integral part of the overall programme and/or project plans.

What about the business case?

Whilst a business case is likely to go through a number of phases, in our experience, each stage should have something to say on each of the five areas above. So even an initial business case should have both a rationale for the change (the ‘why’) right through to a high level view of the ‘when’. Each iteration of the business case adds detail to each of the five areas.

It is the business case which sets out why any investment should be made in one option as opposed to another.

And finally...

But enough of the theory; what is it really like to work with us? We ‘work with’ rather than ‘do to’.

We deploy highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals or teams to complement the skills of our clients. Our teams are made up of people that take pleasure in working together. We have strength in the depth and breadth of our collective experience which allows us to work at pace whilst maintaining a lively sense of humour. Despite the very serious nature of what we deliver with our clients, we endeavour to make it an enjoyable and constructive engagement for everyone that we work alongside.

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