Your organization's capability to change effectively determines its ability to control its future. It is time to insource this capability

Change effectively or die

In today’s business environment it is fast becoming ‘change or die’; ‘change or be disrupted’ or ‘change or be changed’.

Your capability to change effectively is critical to your organization’s future success. However, most organizations are ineffective at implementing change. The common acceptance of ‘resistance to change’ is more a testament to the poor quality of the change processes than it is the natural inclination of staff. Well-designed change can generate a momentum FOR change!

Effective Change – A Core Capability

Your ability to manage change effectively is now becoming a required 'core capability' for every organization. If you cannot change successfully you have no control over your future.

Yet, most organizations currently outsource their change capabilities to contract project managers and change managers. This is highly dangerous as these people are (well-meaning) mercenaries. They have no allegiance to your organization, they don’t live with the results, and are driven by their daily rate not by the need to improve your organization’s performance.

The Need To Insource Your Change Capability

It is time for organizations to ‘insource’ their change capability. You need to embed a change capability into your organization’s operating model. But how?
  • Adoption of the project management methods won’t help – most of them mostly ignore organizational change.

  • Adoption of the change management methods won’t help either – they are more about ‘selling’ change than delivering it.  (I recently reviewed a 'best practice' change framework of 27 components—none of which actually implemented a change!)

The idea that an organization’s change capability can be embedded in a few individuals is also false thinking. It breeds ‘heroes’ and a reliance on those few who ‘can get things done’. This approach is hit-and-miss when you really need a simple, repeatable process to get a consistent success rate.

Effective change execution is simple IF (and when) you decide to make it a core organizational capability. A lack of management focus on change effectiveness will result in a low level of organizational change capability.

Your ability to change determines how much control you have over your future.

When Does ‘Okay’ Equal Success?

Now many organizations will think they are “Okay” when it comes to change. They do projects and they get results. Change happens, sometimes over staff resistance and major ‘teething problems’, but things do change.

But at what cost?

Bank A eventually got a mortgage processing system in on its fourth attempt for over $200 million.

Bank B got its mortgage processing system in on its first attempt for less than $10 million.

Both organizations will claim they were able to ‘change’ but one did it (using TOP tools) for 5% of the cost of its competitor and in less than one-third of the time.

You may be changing but are you doing it effectively? Is it costing you two, three times what it needs to cost?

If you are relying on external ‘change agents’ then you immediately know you are paying too much. Mercenaries don’t come cheap.

Restoring Your Capability To Change Effectively

The 1990s saw the internal change agents, those responsible for change and improvement, being made redundant as the first few waves of ‘downsizing’ swung through organizations. Now it is time to bring these skills back and equip your organization as a whole with the tools to deliver your future.

The good news is you don’t need to hire more specialists or experts. Your existing staff can be trained to define, design, develop and deliver effective change. The D-I-Y tools now exist. When your own staff ‘own’ the change ideas and plans, they make sure they happen. Management’s role is to authorize, lead, facilitate and then, basically, get out of the way.

The development – by executives, managers and staff – of this in-house change expertise can be accelerated by adoption of TOP® or through TOP Partners to quickly educate and train your staff and ensure you deliver extraordinary results fast.

Insource, adopt (TOP) and embed. This is how you become change capable and regain control over your future.

It really is that simple.

In our ebook "Change Capability" we tell the story of an organization assessing its change capability and overcoming the CEO's belief that 'we're okay at change'.

Read The TOP 10 TOPics on "Change Capability"   


Topics: Change Management

Further Reading



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Revision History

First published: Simms, J. (Feb 2016) as "Change Management And How To Regain Control Of Your Future"

Updated: Chapman, A. (March 2020), Revisions and Corrections