Leading Change: Get The Balance Right

Change is one of those odd areas.

Every organisation and employee gets that change is necessary.

In fact if you don’t change or evolve the chances of an organisation surviving is remote.

Just look at how many organisations have disappeared over the years.

We all know of examples where organisations seem to just naturally change and evolve.

Or do we?

We tend to hear about the successes not the changes that don’t work out.

In public sector organisations it tends to be the other way round.

We hear a lot about the failures while the successes get little air time.

Maybe that’s not surprising as the scale of the changes in the public sector tend to be much bigger and impact on more people.

Nevertheless irrelevant of sector there is a balance to be struck.

And that balance is between focusing on people and focusing on process.

Too much focus on one is likely to have a detrimental impact on delivering successful change.

If the focus is too much on process there is a danger that you end up with a perfect set of documentation for a change that did not deliver.

Equally if all your focus is on the people then you may find that there is a lack of detailed plans, structure and organisation.

So how do you get the balance right?

Start With A Big Picture Question

A good big picture question is to ask is:

What are the top 5 things you must get right in order to deliver a successful change?

By doing this you get a clear picture of the critical success factors.

Chances are your answer to this big picture will identify a mix of factors on the people and process side.

Map Out How You Will Achieve Each of The Critical Success Factors

There are likely to be a series of things that you will need to do to achieve the each of the critical success factors.

Get them clearly documented.

Know who is taking each of the actions forward.

Check Things Out With Key Stakeholders and Influencers

A leadership team might have come up with a good map of the series of things that need to happen.

Ultimately however there might well be other considerations that have been overlooked, especially around some of the detail.

In truth there is no guaranteed blueprint for success when it comes to making change.

At the same time getting the balance right between people and process will in my experience make it more likely that you be more successful when it comes to leading change.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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