Building networks of change champions
This Middle East utility organisation was starting on a very significant transformation, involving 24 change programmes, covering everything from power generation to customer service. The organisation has nearly 40,000 staff spread across 188 locations. Whilst the programme management was undertaken by experienced programme, change and risk management practitioners, change would only really happen if every member of staff was able to adapt to the new ways of working. However, there it was not cost effective to put all of the staff through a change training programme.
I carried out a high level impact assessment and created a heat map of all the change initiatives and how they would impact each of the business functions, departments and teams in each of the 188 locations. I used this analysis to create a cascade of staff to take responsibility for passing details of the changes down to their direct reports. I designed communications, workshops and training materials for each layer of the cascade. Importantly, each layer of the cascade was treated as a peer group, so effort was made to work with them as peer groups. I created opportunities for them to share their experiences and provide support to each other.
The network has supported the transformational change, with many of the programmes delivering more than the expected benefits. However, an additional benefit has been the creation of a ‘can do’ culture, where change is regarded as the responsibility of all members of staff, not just senior managers. Whilst the culture of the country still demands a hierarchy, there is a great deal more cross functional working than existed before.
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