Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Some Comments on the Process of Developing a Purpose for Change

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How to weave a change into a well-established organisations and DNA of its workforce is very challenging.

", even when everyone agrees in broad terms on what needs to change, someone still needs to work out a plan to implement change in a lasting way. To put this in terms of a cognitive perspective, a leader must proceed with her own internal representations of both the present and of the desired (new) state of affairs to some kind of a public presentation that catches this vision. Moreover, each member of the leadership team will likely have his own mental representation, and each will likewise utilize modes of expression that are comfortable. The team must hammer out an acceptable consensual representation. The leadership team then needs to communicate this representation widely - preferably in a number of discrete yet comparable forms - and test whether it can gain support. In terms, a leader must first find the content of the message she wishes to convey and then find the formats that convey that message well enough to create meaningful and lasting changes in mind - first in the leadership team, eventually throughout the one of these moves is likely to change the minds of most employees. But if the company leadership approaches the problem in a number of different ways, and if these methods work well together, then mind change becomes a distinct possibility..."

Howard Gardner, 2006

An example of linking purpose, values, strategy, etc

BHP Billiton (leading global resources company) has a charter that describes its purpose, values and how they measure success. It is a basis for communicating who they are, what they do, and what they stand for as an organisation; it is the basis for their decision-making.

Purpose: to create long-term shareholder value through the discovery, acquisition, development and marketing of natural resources.

Its strategy is to own and operate large, long-life, low-cost, expandable, upstream assets diversified by commodity, geography and market

Its values are

- sustainability (putting health and safety first, being environmentally responsible and supporting our communities)
- integrity (doing what is right and doing what we say we will do)
- respect (embracing openness, trust, teamwork, diversity and relationships that are mutually beneficial)
- performance (achieving superior business results by stretching our capabilities)
- simplicity (focusing our efforts on things that matter most)
- accountability (defining and accepting responsibility and delivering on our commitments)

"...Success occurs when our people start each day with a sense of purpose and end the day with a sense of accomplishment..."
BHP Billiton as quoted by Tony Boyd 2016b

Also BHP Billiton needed to be different in the way it inspired people and operated, ie leaner, more agile and more entrepreneurial.

This charter was the first time a global mining company had put equal importance on serving the shareholders, customers, employees and communities in which it operated.  It recognised that its social licence to operate was reliant on communities valuing the relationship with the company.

NB this increased the focus on safety, environment and communities

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