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24 Apr 2016

4 Factors needed for effective change

by Melanie Franklin

McKinsey wrote a recent article about the 4 factors needed for effective change:

  1. Role modelling
  2. Fostering understanding and conviction
  3. Reinforcing with formal mechanisms
  4. Developing talent and skills


What I noticed about these factors is that they can all be supported by the creation and use of a change management framework. I think a framework is an essential first step to organising your thoughts if you are trying to build a capability for change. I have learnt from experience that these frameworks need to include a suggested lifecycle for change that fits how your organisation works and a toolkit that provides guidance not immediately available elsewhere. It’s not the exciting bit, it’s not the motivational, emotional intelligence aspects of change but it provides a solid foundation as comparison against the McKinsey factors shows:


  1. Role Modelling

Getting influential people to demonstrate a structured and well planned approach to managing change is a potent force in persuading those not yet engaged to start participating. We can use social media to share examples of change activities so the actions of an individual can be shared many times. It’s much easier to get senior leaders to role model if you have set out what the activities are and suggested the best order in which to complete them. A lifecycle model also helps to explain the context of these actions as everyone can see why these actions were needed at this point in the change and what needs to happen next


  1. Fostering understanding and conviction

This involves explaining the rationale and business benefits of change. Creating the change story that gives compelling reasons why we cannot stay as we are should be a core early step of any change framework. To help managers develop this story we can include guidance on creating the elements of the story including Force Field Analysis, Business Case and Vision. We can also demonstrate how to structure the information so that it appeals to the widest possible audience using consideration of their communication preferences. This builds their understanding and makes it easier to convey this understanding to others.


  1. Reinforcing with formal mechanisms

This McKinsey factor is about the importance of getting measures and targets that reflect the changes we are trying to create and defining punishments and rewards that support their achievement. An easy to use change framework encourages the right actions and progress towards these goals so we are more likely to be able to reward than punish. The framework also creates an encouraging environment for change as everyone can see what is expected of them and how the different activities all connect to create a lasting change.


  1. Developing talent and skills

Change only happens if we can get all those impacted by it to participate in creating the new ways of working. To create this participation we have to support people in developing new skills and competencies relevant to the new ways of working. Skills development in the form of training, coaching, mentoring and lots of practice sessions is a core part of the change framework. These opportunities to develop skills are supported by the communication thread running through the framework, in the lifecycle and the toolkit.

The case for a Change Framework

This blog sounds like I am making the case for the creation of a change framework. I am because I think it is an essential first step in clarifying what your organisation means by ‘change capability’ as well as identifying the activities needed to make it happen.

Melanie Franklin
24th April 2016