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What is your capability for managing change? Recent insights and future plans from the Enabling Change SIG that might help.

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The Enabling Change SIG will be 3 years old in January 2017.  Our target of reaching 500 members in 2017 is within our sights, standing as we do at 447 at the time of writing (22nd December 2016).

Our members will already be benefiting from the various activities we have in place in support of our mission: “to improve the change capability of organisations, teams and individuals”. 

The SIG’s activities take the form of:

  • Resources on our website (includes documentation of 17+ change methodologies and standards)
  • Research into the latest thinking – see for example “Understanding why people behave as they do
  • Sector specific change practitioner groups - the Transport and Public Services groups, which are already active, and the Finance and Utilities groups are just starting up.
  • Collaborations and events with other APM SIGs and branches (see examples below)
  • External collaborations with other change organisations (for example the Open University, the Centre for Change Management)

Are you already benefiting from these activities?  If not, here are some insights from our most recent events, and information about future plans.

Common factors for successful change

We have run a few events now with variations on this topic, the most recent being with the North West branch, and the South Wales and West of England branch. 

Our short-list of six common factors is based on our SIG committee members’ experiences and reading, and has been corroborated by change practitioners attending our recent events.  So much so that they now form a chapter in our “Introduction to Managing Change” publication that has just been sent out for its first round of reviews.  We plan to release this first publication from the SIG during 2017.

The current version of the six common factors for successful change is:

  1. Formulate a clear vision and strategy, supported by well-defined benefits
  2. Ensure strong leadership and sponsorship
  3. Define and follow a well-structured and integrated approach
  4. Understand, engage with, build commitment from and support key stakeholders
  5. Build a strong change team with the necessary capabilities for success
  6. Measure the success of the change initiative

How confident are you of your and your organisation’s capability to address each of these factors for managing change?

Lessons from experienced practitioners

Our recent events have included impressive accounts from experienced change practitioners, who have generously shared case studies of initiatives that they are overseeing.

We heard from Joanne Bradshaw, Programme Director, Fraud, Error and Debt, for the Department of Work and Pensions, (DWP) at our one-day event with South Wales and West of England branch – How to successfully deliver business change. Joanne has an extensive team to manage a whole raft of initiatives covering the full range of strategic and operational change.  Joanne’s slides and the notes on our website capture Joanne’s and the delegates’ insights on the six common factors.

We also heard from Mike Cadman, UK Footprint Programme Director, AstraZeneca, at an evening event hosted by MedImmune with the East of England branch – AstraZeneca’s transformational relocation to Cambridge.  There are slides and notes from the breakout discussions on the website, and an audio recording of the event has also been recently added.  Themes emerging from the breakout included:

  1. The need for effective and timely communication;
  2. Ensuring the ‘big message’ (the case for change) is clearly defined and shared
  3. Ensuring middle managers are well versed and supported
  4. Selling the benefits of the change to those impacted by it;
  5. Not making assumptions as to what people think or know; and
  6. Raising the profile of the change by impressing its priority on stakeholders and those with a part to play in its delivery.

How do these reflect the challenges and opportunities faced by you and your organisation when managing change?

Resources to build your capability

The Enabling Change SIG is method neutral.  We bring our members as much information as possible about what is available to them, so that they can choose which will best support them, and fit with the culture of their organisation.

The resources on our website are one way in which we do this.  Our forthcoming “Introduction to Managing Change” publication will be another.  Our events and the speakers that we invite to them is a third way in which we bring those resources to our members.

The recent webinar with Melanie Franklin, co-chair of the Change Management Institute UK (CMI) is an example of this third way, and carried a similar title to this blog: How capable are you in managing change?  Melanie presented the CMI’s competency framework, which consists of seven components, organised under three headings: content, delivery and support. 

CMI’s content related competencies include strategic thinking, the ability to facilitate change, and thinking / judging – a blend of analytical skills. 

Delivery competencies are about project management: the ability to deliver the benefits. 

Support competencies include influencing, communication and coaching skills – competencies requiring strong emotional intelligence to ensure effective implementation of the change.

What will you do next?

Join the Enabling Change SIG, if you have not already done so.

Take a look at the resources on our website.

Read our newsletter, and look out for further details on our “Introduction to Managing Change” publication, and future events – in particular our next one-day conference that will be taking place in London on the 23rd March 2017.


Written by Elisabeth Goodman, Enabling Change SIG committee member


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