Organisational Change Management Volume 1

Framework 23 A framework for change

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Step 1 - Build a point of view

A point of view is built around its responses to these questions:

- what is changing in the world?

- what opportunities do these changes make possible?

- what are the business concepts that would profitably exploit these changes?

A point of view must meet 4 criteria

1. credible, ie based on unimpeachable information

2. coherent, all the pieces must fit together and be mutually reinforcing

3. compelling, ie capture the hearts as well as the intellect (facts and logic) - it becomes a cause and captures people's imagination

4. commercial, ie generate wealth by being able to answer the following questions

- what's the value proposition for a customer?

- how will this create competitive advantage?

- what are the other cost dynamics?

- what will create increasing returns?

Step 2 - Write a manifesto

The ingredients for this are

- convincingly demonstrate the inevitability of the cause, ie why it is right, right now

- speak to timeless human needs and aspirations, ie why you should care

- draw clear implications for action, ie where to start

- elicit support, ie how you can contribute

- to increase the support for your manifesto

- search for "data bombs", ie indisputable facts that challenge the status quo and create urgency

- use simple phrases and powerful analogies that "turn people on"

- stay constructive, ie don't criticise, don't revisit past failures, don't look for culprits, etc

- provide broader recommendations - don't argue for a single, do-or-die course of action

- keep it short

- make it opportunity-focused, ie concentrate on the upside and not the downside

- demonstrate that the current strategy is risky


"...moral authority comes from a cause that is both economically sound and undeniably in the best interest of the organisation and its members..."

Gary Hamel, 2000

Step 3 - Create a coalition

Transforms individual authority into collective authority and involves selecting people who

- share your point of view

- are receptive to your point of view

- look for cross-organisation initiatives that are similar

- key stakeholders who benefit from a successful implementation of your point of view

Step 4 - Pick your targets and pick your moments

As activists create movements, but do not create mandates, one needs to get on-side the group of people who have their hands on the real levers of power in the organisation, ie the gatekeepers.

Furthermore, one needs to know where the strategic points of influence are, ie opportunities to educate, entertain, and enrol support.

Choosing the right moment is also important. Sometimes this moment may not be planned; be prepared to be an opportunist.

Step 5 - Co-opt and neutralise, ie look for

The win-win propositions.


Be a catalyst, not a competitor.

Big impact, small target.

Step 6 - Find a translator

Need somebody who can succinctly put your point of view.

He/she needs to have an understanding in common with the disciples of orthodoxy within the organisation, ie has the confidence and understanding of top management.

He/she can explain your point of view in the language that senior management understands

Step 7 - Win small, win early, win often

People can argue with position papers, but they cannot argue with success.

Have revolutionary goals, but evolutionary steps.

Search for small projects that offer greatest potential impact for the smallest input.

Step 8 - Isolate, infiltrate, integrate

To grow, new opportunities need to escape bureaucratic control and orthodox thinking, eg use corporate incubators, internal venture divisions and 'skunks works'.

If, on the other hand, you are too isolated from the mainstream of the organisation, an "us and them" attitude can develop between the new point of view and the rest of the organisation.

To attract resources, you are going to have to make the leap from isolation to infiltration, especially as you will need the organisation's resources.

Eventually, you need to integrate with a whole organisation, ie help it to reinvent itself.

(source: Gary Hamel, 2000)


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