concurrent workshops (HR Interactions)
A1 Driving Successful Change
Justine Reese and Mike Stenhouse, Sheffield
Typically, in any change presentation we would discuss
moving from present state through transition to locking in
the new future state. Well, when did change ever go that
Today, we will start with what is keeping your CEO awake
at night. That is likely to be where change is going to be
driven. Human Resources has an integral part to play in leading
successful change throughout the organisation.
We will look at your role in driving change in your organisation
and how you need to help enable the organisation to deliver
against these objectives. Many organisations spend a lot
of time endeavouring to change those most resistance to change
and little time on those really committed to make it happen.
What impact does this have on your ability to deliver? And
what about those who sit on the fence in the middle, many
of them “change survivors” from previous initiatives?
We will discuss how to help employees and managers navigate
their way through change and review what obstacles may
be in the way. Often change is only associated with the change
in structure. New structure, old methods can risk worse
It can be about structure, but it needs to be about the
way we do business.
And finally we will look at the most common pitfalls management
can fall into in managing change and what to avoid.
Presentation 90%; Q&A 10%
What is keeping your CEO’s awake at night? Hopefully
not indigestion, but some of the changes your organisation
needs to implement might cause indigestion. Those items that
are keeping your CEO awake at night, will invariably result
in your business having to change the way it does business
to remain competitive, innovative and delivering results
to all stake holders. Now is the time for the Human Resources
to facilitate the implementation of successful change through
Here are some questions that might be burning
the midnight oil (from a people perspective):
- Are our employees more productive than our competitors
(by whatever measure $$ cost, productivity, production
- Why do we spend most of our time on the lower
- How many lower performing employees become stars
through employee relations action?
- What percent of the people we have are a mistake?
And what happens to them?
Maybe, the HR Director is also awake at night?
In driving successful change, the CEO expectations of HR
to deliver is crucial to success. They need to be building
competitive advantage for the organisation, not building
policy and procedures libraries. They need to lead organisation
change and they better make a difference.
- Align the business strategy and people strategy.
- Ensure clear, consistent communication is provided and
understood. Common understanding of the “Chase” rationale.
- Providing the tools and capabilities to assist managers implement
- Role model leadership of new behaviours required. Be clear
on behaviour and key actions that all can observe.
- Ensure the senior leadership team demonstrate and role model
the new behaviours and communicate consistently.
Strong project management capability is provided. “The
detail is in the detail”. A discipline to deliver
on time, every time.
Ensure the right people are hired against the right competencies
and organisational “fit”.
Human Resources need to drive to transform the business
not just transact with the business. In the internet age,
speed and capability is vital.
In driving change, look at where you are spending most of
your time. Is it on the 5% of employees who are the most
resistant to change, or the 5% of employees most motivated
to embrace changes. In the graph below there is a significant
opportunity to move those “sitting on the fence” forward
being motivated to change. Often, companies spend too much
time on those employees most resistant to change. Give them
every opportunity to be involved, but at some point they
will need to decide whether they are on board or not. Peer
pressure can be a key driver to engage support.
Where are you spending all your time?
With those on board, you will need to help them navigate “successful
change”. Here are some points in establishing the “context” for
- Common understanding – of the vision, direction
and the competitive’s situation necessitating change.
- Encourage discussion – get different parts of the business
- Provide appropriate resources– authority, time, skilled
resources to the job.
Co-ordinate and align projects – how do the building blocks
fit together and communicate how they together create the “big” picture.
- Consistency of message, activities and behaviours.
Identify and address the people issues early – people
will be at the heart of any change implementation.
Often organisations only relate “change” to
organisational structure. There is an inherent risk here,
of making organisational structure changes and not changing
the way we do things, risking worse results.
Now we have discussed what to do to drive “successful
change”, let’s mention what to watch out for.
Most common “pitfalls”:
- “management is the message”
- everything that
a manager does or doesn’t do, sends
- too many think communication is HR’s
- rumours will fill the vacuum
- Not building trust
- Takes weeks to build and you can blow it
in an afternoon
- Lack of clarity of vision and/or direction
- Danger of creating a number of disjointed
and confused projects
- No clear sense of where we are going
- Not providing appropriate skilled resources
- Project management skills and capability is a must
- Providing employees to projects who have the “time” but
not the skills
- Not gaining commitment
- How can I help make this a success?
- Not creating and celebrating small wins
- Difficult to maintain momentum without celebration
along the way
- Not cementing strategic changes
- New behaviours (how
should I behave?)
- New expectations of performance
- Shared visions and values
- Understanding how you have
Driving change is not easy, but there are some fundamental
steps to take, to ensure your success in implementation and
a restful night’s sleep.
Justine Reese, a
registered psychologist is the Principal of Sheffield's Christchurch
office. As well as
7 years consulting
experience she has held various line management and HR management
positions. Given her background, her approach to change is
typically pragmatic and focused upon what actually works
from an operational perspective. Her views reflect current
trends in HR theory as well as insights gained from first
hand experience as both a consultant and a practioner. Justine
specializes in executive development, performance management
and competency based HR initiatives, she is also a fully
accredited DDI (Development Dimensions International) Facilitator.
Mike Stenhouse is a Partner of Sheffield Limited. Following
initial training and experience in accounting, he has had
twenty-two years experience in the human resource consulting
with particular involvement in, executive search and selection,
board appointments and reviews of board effectiveness, remuneration
consulting and organisational development projects.
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