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Allegra Global Change Management series: UK

Posted 06 March 2015
by Allegra Consulting

This is the first in our series of articles on change management across the globe.   Australia and the UK share many cultural similarities but how closely does the UK mirror the Australian change management experience? Not unlike Australia, the UK has seen organisations face increased demand for budget cuts, reorganisation and delivery of service improvement set against a background of European austerity measures.

It seems that organisations in the UK are focused on developing change management as a core competency as we are down under. In most cases change managers are engaged in much the same way as in Australia with similar roles and responsibilities. Again, change methodologies are employed and as in Australia to varying degrees of application as well as varying degrees of success.  There is evidence of many of the usual suspects including ADKAR and Prosci as well as a range of custom made options developed by boutique change and transformation specialists, as well as in-house creations.  Lean, Six Sigma and Kaizen are also utilised by organisations looking to drive continuous improvement and improve the customer experience.

Our challenges appear to be eerily similar.  The role of the Sponsor appears to be pivotal in making change happen and stick.  Regardless of geography, change managers are all challenged by making sure our projects benefit from strong sponsorship and engagement starting from the very top.  Our role as coach is paramount as is our credibility and stakeholder management prowess.  Along with our project management colleagues change managers need to focus on getting sponsors on side and all be walking the walk in an articulate and convincing manner.

The NHS Story

There are fewer organisations in the world that evoke such an emotive response and whose performance impacts almost everyone in the UK.  With an organisation this large where the majority of employees are working shifts managing change is a real challenge.  Communication is often hit and miss and people can be unaware that change is happening in the background amid day to day pressures. Clinical leaders are often expected to be clinical and clerical at the same time and the high pressure nature of the work can mean that communication breaks down and change messages and process changes can be diluted or slow to filter through to all impacted parties.

This national institution with many conflicting priorities and stretched resources appears to have recognised the importance of a cohesive, consistent and shared approach to change.  They have clearly invested in driving towards the goal of making change a core organisational competency – part of their change approach includes arming organisational leaders with the capability to deliver large scale transformational change and service improvement.

Check out their change model.

Their Advancing Change Team (ACT) has developed a number of practical developmental learning programs and master classes to help NHS colleagues and their partner organisations to plan and deliver transformational change.

The NHS has also embarked upon an ambitious service and quality improvement programme utilising the principles of Lean and Kaizen to drive wide ranging improvement in both service delivery and patient care. Their website contains a comprehensive collection of proven quality and service improvement tools, theories and techniques that are a key component of the organisational transformation of the NHS. – See more on their website.

Change Management Training and Accreditation

It is good to see that change management UK style is also concerned with improving the capability and skills of those who share the goals and objectives of their Australian change counterparts.  A Google search indicates the range of educational offerings available in the UK. C4CM™ claims to be the only nationally recognised qualifications centre in Change Management – their C4CM™ qualifications are based on the latest working practice in managing change using best practice in Portfolio, Programme and Project Management.

Check out their offering.

Authored by Helen Haley

Do you have a global change management experience you would like to share? We’d love to hear form you. Please email diane@allegraconsulting.com.au

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