A couple of weeks ago I did something I usually would not do. I opened a presentation to an audience of OD and HR professionals with a bold statement:
More than 70% of Change initiatives fail to deliver expeded results.
If you ever had to deal with a Change initiative or went to any event on Change Management, you are probably thinking "Oh no, here we go again". And to be fair, I would probably think that too.
But please bear with me a few more lines.
In this post, I am going to share something I am super excited about that hopefully will contribute to stopping Change Management presentations and articles to start with the infamous "70% of Change initiatives .. ." opening.
let's begin by expanding a little the bold statement I just used. This is what I feel is a more reasonable version of it:
Most Change and Transformation programs fail to deliver expeded value using existing Change models and tools.
What we had a chance to observe over many years of work in the industry is that, although many of the organisations trying to implement Change initiatives follow recommended best practice Change processes, the results are often appreciably far from the
Why does this happen?
To deal with today's dynamically evolving global business environment constant disruption, uncertainty and volatility, organisations need to be more Agile, Innovative and Collaborative than ever in order to build and maintain their competitive advantage.
But they often find themselves constrained by existing strategies, culture and industry best practices that may not be suitable for the actual learning level of the organisation as a whole.
The result? Change and Transformation plans lose momentum, in certain instances becoming irrelevant and often 'dissolving' into (almost) nothing. In such cases, results vary from insignificant all the way to negative and disruptive (disengagement, loss of trust in the organisation, confusion ... )
More advanced tools and techniques are now necessary to improve an organization's Change capability, and to improve success rates and long term impact of Change programs.
A possible solution: SB&A S.T.E.P.
To address this constant challenge, we partnered up with a think-tank of experts, the Organisational Development Tools Institute (ODTI).
ODTI developed something that is, for us, a game-changer as it focuses on organisations for what they are: integrated, interconnected dynamic systems.
The Dynamic Systems Maturity Theory (DSMT) and the diagnostic tool based on it, the OrgCMF, finally allow us to scientifically diagnose maturity, functioning and learning levels of organisations. The impressive research done by ODTI provides a scientifically-based system that draws on Systems Theory, Learning Theory as well as Psychology, Organisational Sciences and Economics.
This framework enables us and the organisations we work with to identify and design solutions that are based on solid data and with a scope that can be adjusted to target the true priority areas and critical challenges.
In essence, the work done by ODTI has 2 key outcomes. On one hand, it reduces the time required for a solid organisational-level needs analysis (we can now accomplish in a few weeks what could only be achieved with intensive analysis involving a number of different assessment tools and labour-intensive initiatives such as one-to-one and focus group interviews). On the other hand, it provides a scientific methodology that enables us to identify and design solutions that are calibrated to the actual level of learning ability of the organisation.
We integrated OrgCMF into our solution design methodology and we called it S.T.E.P. - a Sustainability focused, Transformational Effectiveness Process from Diagnosis to Effective Implementation.
This is what the process looks like:
Step 1: Triage - Identify priorities and development area on a macro level. A quick look at how the organisation is doing and where the biggest impact can be made.
We do this by running a triage-level questionnaire with organisational leaders (C-suite, functional heads, etc). The output of the triage assessment is a report that highlights the areas requiring immediate attention.
Step 2: Diagnostic - Dig deeper and pinpoint root cause areas.
Based on the output of the triage assessment we identify the root cause areas and 'zoom in' to ascertain what is having a negative impact on the organisation's maturity, functioning and learning levels at a more granular level - widening the respondents' population to rest of the organisation.
Step 3: Implement - Deploy solutions that address organisational issues at the root cause and design and deploy Change Management initiatives based on the data gathered during the triage and diagnostic assessment.
Step 4: Review - Measure, quantify and evaluate the output of the initiative, thus identifying adjustments or further actions that may be required.
If you would like to know more about the STEP framework, just let me know: I will be more than happy to share more details with you and explore how can it be applied to your organization.
This article was published on LinkedIn on Dec 3, 2019.
Fabrizio Ulivi is Managing Partner at SB&A - Shi Bisset & Associates. With a passion for solution-driven consulting and organizational effectiveness, Fabrizio works with his clients to identify and design strategic solutions that enhance Organisational Effectiveness, People Development and performance.