Making Change the Culture-The National Initiative in Change Management

By Lyneham-Brown, David | Management Services, October 1997 | Go to article overview

Making Change the Culture-The National Initiative in Change Management


Lyneham-Brown, David, Management Services


Change is most effective when it is done with and through people, not to them. For Britain to stay in the global economic pack opportunities for change should be sought out, not avoided. Making change the culture is the only sure way of enabling people to feel masters of the opportunities, not the victims.

The Paradox

Modern organisations are faced with a problem. They are saying:

" we want higher calibre people than we have ever had before..."

" with a wider range of skills, expertise and personal motivation than we have ever needed before..."

" able to adapt faster rates of innovation and change than ever seen before..."

" delivering higher value adding activity than competition has ever demanded before..."

" making better use of more expensive and complex assets than most organisations have ever controlled before..."

" in order to satisfy more marketplace diversity than has ever existed before..."

... but, with no traditional guarantees of long-term job security for those staff themselves.

Hence the corporate conundrum - how to secure loyalty in the face of insecurity and not a little disillusionment

The approach of Elements of Change is to seek a solution to the paradox by Making Change the Culture.

Focus on change

Elements of Change Limited was established in 1993 to design and implement business development programmes to address the needs of everyone in the organisation who is involved in business change by improving their skills, knowledge and expertise. This is achieved through the practical programme of the National Initiative in Change Management which serves the broader spectrum of needs of staff who will become Tomorrow's Change Agents'. It complements the Diploma in Business Analysis (DBA) designed for change professionals who fulfil the role of internal consultant in the modern organisation.

In developing the National Change Initiative research and experience clearly demonstrated that:

Internal Consultants do not always have the monopoly of change expertise

Change programmes resulting from secret machinations in 'remote' offices inspire neither interest, respect nor confidence.

A culture of continuous evolutionary change is more effective than sporadic revolutions, many of which fail.

Individuals are empowered by being the architects rather than the victims of change.

Involvement, achievement and recognition are key elements underpinning the creation of a change culture.

Overcoming resistance to change is best achieved by empowering individuals with the skills of change.

The broad objectives of the Change Management Initiative are that:

The end result should be a clear vision and approach for developing staff at all levels of the organisation in a way that embraces and reflects corporate needs, aims, style and philosophy.

The mechanism should embrace all teams and levels moving upwards in the organisation - a bottom up process in balance with the traditional top-down approach.

The qualification process should be seen to mirror the development drive of the business in terms of its structure, roles and responsibilities.

Design objectives of the change initiative

The aim was to address the people issues in strategic change as an essential compliment to the structured development of the technical and business skills of staff at all levels. It is:

innovative, participative and practical

reflective of the contemporary environment

structured to deliver a genuine change culture

integral to genuine empowerment programmes

complement current consultancy approaches to organisational change

The design objectives of the programme were:

Clear aim - centred on improving business performance

Practical - through the appropriate mix of course content and assignment work

Experiential - varied learning methodology and constant monitoring of progress against standards

Organisationally relevant - reflecting the corporate philosophy and processes

Change management focused - developing a change culture, methodology and approach, with measurable outputs viewed against effective, competitive standards

Capable of cost effective internalisation - for suitably resourced organisations

Performance focused - "Making change the future" and "Building the business within the business" provide objective focus and a basis for measurement of progress. …

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