Change : only one rule, keep it simple

Written by Paul Clavering | Blog | Clients | Posted 27/03/2017 12:33:35

This blog is in association with the Manchester Change Forum on July 13th. The event, in association with the Change Management Institute (CMI) and Paul Clavering of 'Just Enough Change', is sponsored by Sanderson Recruitment. Register here.

Change is in interesting topic, and discussion around change is even more interesting. Varying industries have very different challenges but themes are constant, lack of business engagement or understanding of why change is being delivered underpin the majority. One mantra that is true for all, is that change should be simple! The exceptional Paul Clavering has created the following to elaborate on this.

Alistair Collier, Regional Manager of Sanderson Manchester

I have been fortunate enough to work on quite a few change programmes in various organisations, from large international FTSE250 companies to smaller, family owned businesses. They have all required various levels of change and were labelled slightly differently in each company, but it doesn't matter if it's a global digital transformation, implementation of a major ERP system or a smaller local process change, I have one golden rule - keep it simple.

There are some fantastic tools available to handle change out there, from Kotter's 8-Step process (I highly recommend reading this) to the formal PRINCE2 approach for project delivery. There are also a myriad of other less known solutions that I also think are worth investigating, like Daniel Lock's guide, including his 7 day email, however I always think change should be fully tailored to the companies requirements.

Understanding how a company wants to change and how its culture works, allows you to create a solution to successfully manage that change. For some companies this may be a more rigid and controlled PMO approach that has clearly defined deliverables set up front, with key milestones and strong governance, but for others, change will be more 'free flowing' encouraging its employees to have a more entrepreneurial thought process. Both have a place in the 'change' market but the rule of simplicity still applies.

The simple goal when considering change is to ultimately change an organisations behaviour to do something differently. This can take many forms but the most successful journeys are often simple and concise, consisting of communications and actions that are easy to understand and therefore easier to implement. I posted a LinkedIn article about comparing project and programme management to that of a restaurant, after being quizzed on what I actually did to highlight this! Being able to apply reasoning and logic to a real-life comparison is easy to visualise and something I look to achieve in any change programme, for example, what does the end result of a digital transformation actually look like? Can you imagine walking into the store or ordering online post digital transformation, or using the product after it has been changed?

I created 'Just Enough' to encompass simplicity and focus delivery over, but not at the expense of, governance. Based on many implementations of change, and the scars that go with it, I use the core of this to look at the 3 key areas highlighted below.

  1. What is the end goal and the milestones along the way?
  2. What controls/measures are needed to make sure we are on track?
  3. What is the best way for getting engagement in the business?

About Paul: Paul has a wealth of experienced gained in international organisations in industries such as manufacturing, technology, ERP, professional services and the hire industry. For professional discussion regarding Paul’s background or the content of this blog please contact him via:

(T) +44 (0) 7808 137351 LinkedIn : Paul Clavering

Sanderson Manchester now facilitate the Manchester Change Forum, an open platform for Change professionals to communicate and arrange networking opportunities. Join here.

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