Thought Leadership Articles

    Don’t forget about sustaining the change when building organisational change maturity!

    Nov 4, 2021 | Posted by Quentin Orsmond

    Many organisations are looking at building enterprise change capability or organisational agility or organisational change maturity. There are many names for it out there, but the principle is the same, how do we build/improve our organisational capability in change as a core competency?

    The most basic reason for building this competency is to enable organisations to handle more change, bigger change, more often and with better business results. They want to build agility and outshine their competitors.

    We also know that building change as a core competency is often a multi-year journey, a journey Prosci call Enterprise Change Management (ECM). So, what’s recipe for ECM success?

    One of the key aspects and an important lesson we’ve learned is that building organisational change maturity is that it is an organisational change project in its own right and needs to be managed like any other change project with a structured, resourced and intentional plan.

    Prosci research has shown that organisations need a change management plan that supports the bigger picture of building of change management competency. One of the key ingredients to ensure its success is that the change needs an active and visible sponsor.

    Here’s an example…

    A large financial services organisation went on a 7-year ECM journey to build enterprise change capability and over time, they built a very capable level of change maturity. They looked at delivering:

    • Organisational structures through a change management Centre of Excellence (CoE) or Change Portfolio Office (CPO)
    • Appointed the role of a Chief Change Officer
    • Identified key Change Practitioner roles (at various levels: junior, middle and senior)
    • Documented the Change Management operating model
    • Updated key performance indicators to include change management
    • Built change into the learning curriculum of leaders

    Download: 6 Tactics for Growing Enterprise Change Capability

    6 Tactics

    However, the path to organisational change maturity in this organisation became rocky and the operating model of the change management function changed. Why?

    Triggered by a change in the leadership which shook the DNA of the enterprise change management path, the sponsor of change management (COO) and the Senior Director in charge of the Change Management Office left and their replacement leaders had a different take on the importance of managing change maturity. Such a common story.

    And the consequences were significant:

    1. Some change practitioners left the organisation.

    2. The organisation didn't have a standardised change management methodology that they followed.

    3. The application of change management in the organisation became inconsistent.

    4. Roles and responsibilities and deliverables of change practitioners became fragmented.

    5. The value of integrating change management and project management in the organisation was questioned.

    6. Overall the level of change maturity dropped and business performance declined.

    What took seven years to build was destroyed within 12 months of the organisation's leadership change.

    Lessons learned

    When building organisational change as a core competency make sure that it is built into the DNA of the organisation. It is part of the culture change required.

    Make sure that senior leaders in the coalition understand the value of change management and the value it adds to the organisation in delivery of its strategic business objectives.

    Ensure that if one sponsor leaves another is able to ‘take their place’.

    When building change capability ensure that there is a proper handover to business as usual and that the change management operating model is integrated into the organisational operating model structures.

    Ensure that there is clear ownership and accountability of the function of change management and the role of change management in the organisation.

    CMC Partnership Global can help

    Are you a Change Leader managing critical changes in today's new operational challenges? Or perhaps you're leading large changes that impact the entire organisation and would like to build your internal change capability?

    Whatever your challenges are with today's shifting business goals, we can help you manage your current change strategies. We can partner with you to equip key roles in your organisation to manage change and to better prepare your leaders to lead change...remotely if needed!

    Find out more about our Prosci Change Management training for organisations or get in touch to have a chat about your ECM journey.