'Transformational change - what to do on... and off the Yellow Brick Road' write up

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Posted by APM on 23rd Apr 2014

On March 25th Bradford University very kindly hosted the latest Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire branch event in their Richmond Building on the main campus at Great Horton Road. The well attended presentation by Adrian Pyne was on the subject of Transformational Change - what to do on... and off the Yellow Brick Road and focussed upon the way that change is a constant theme throughout history.

Adrian began by looking at where change comes from; from the top, from within, and also gave a number of examples of where strategy and pet projects have brought about change. He also looked at how continuity of the change brings about the benefits.

He then examined the way that change takes account of the environment, to illustrate he used the example of an iceberg and looked at the way the visible behaviours of an organisation (its rules, values, processes) are driven or supported by the unwritten rules of the organisation, its assumptions, perceptions and beliefs. He stressed the importance of understanding and working with the environment and its people to be successful.

After this Adrian invited the audience to provide some examples as discussion points. One of the barriers to change (ie. what it is that stops you from being successful) discussed wasrecognising the roles and standpoints of stakeholders and how they can be persuaded to assist in the change process. He stressed that the use of an organisations internal social networks and engagement with the organisational culture is extremely important and that care should be taken to ensure the baby is not thrown out with the bathwater.

Moving on to the planning and preparation for sustainability, Adrian gave examples of the need for solution delivery to be in parallel with benefits delivery and the importance of being flexible and adaptive, e.g. plan, measure and adjust constantly.

The presentation concluded with Adrians Tactics for Change:

1.Lead through inspiration, care and trust

2.Open minds, make the change, embed the change

3.Work with your environment

4.Understand what can stop you being successful

5.Know and communicate the purpose of the change

6.Recombine and re-use

7.Prepare for delivery AND for operations

8.Be flexible and adapt, e.g. plan, measure and adjust

9.Ensure people know what they are to do, where they fit and how they can work

10.Build a confident and professional team


A final question and answer session provided many attendees the opportunity to raise their individual questions regarding change within their own organisations which made for an interesting and interactive conclusion to the event.

Ken Platts
Committee member, Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire branch committee

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