Dr Julian Randall, a senior lecturer in Management Studies at the University of Aberdeen Business School, has recently published a new book; Managing Consultancy and Change. Here he shares his thoughts about Change Management and his approach.
Why is it that 70% of change events are counted as failure by those who go through them? Could it be that being told what to do by total strangers who pretend they know all the answers, get paid a lot and then walk away, does not appeal to our sense of fairness and being consulted in what happens in our lives. If the answer to that is yes then we might ask why companies seem to keep investing in such change programmes. And the answer might well be that imposed change is easier, quicker, cheaper and if it goes wrong, managers can always blame the consultants.
So, is there a better way? At the University of Aberdeen Business School we believe so.
• Ask what works and listen to the answers
• Share the prospects for the future of the company with everyone
• Explore the options for change with those who are going through it
• Get those involved to take part in implementing the change
• Check that future expected standards are now practicable
• Make sure it has made a difference to the customers
Change doesn’t have to mean hassle. Working with people who are committed to change may take a little longer. But in the end, it means they invest in their own future after the change agents have gone – and the added bonus is that they will see the people who helped them do it as friends.