Before you build change capability: READ THIS!

behaviours benefits capability change leadership change management organisational change project management Nov 15, 2022
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There's a lot of people out there who think they know what Change Management is or they've experienced it before. But the problem is, it's such a vague term that a lot of people have a misunderstanding of what Change is and:


So there's this spectrum of people who talk a big talk about Change (but actually have no idea) to people who know nothing and you're taking them from 0 to 100. You'll find teams, projects and whole organisations with quite low change maturity.



Is it your job to build Change capability?

It is absolutely common for you, even if you're not a practising Change professional, to have to or want to build capability with teams on what you're there to do, what you're there to help with, and how you can help.


I recommend going in "softly, softly".

Share what you know about Change but focus on what's in it for them.



How I approach seeding Change capability

This is how I approach it:

"You might know a little bit about Change Management, I want to make sure I level set everybody and what I'm here to do and how I can help."


Then I'll provide a little definition:

"Change Management is moving people from doing things in one way to doing things another via communications, training and readiness to realise the business benefits of the change."


It's probably better to keep it high level for business teams.

With project teams, you could schedule a session and go: "I'm going to schedule a session and share what I know about Change Management."

But with business teams, it's not their day-to-day, and what you're really doing is trying to shift their MINDSET around Change Management or thinking from a Change lens. 

You're not necessarily trying to get them to BE Change Managers themselves. 

For a lot of leaders it's just not their primary way of working, so for a lot of business leaders learning Change skills is absolutely invaluable and that's why I have business leaders join my Leading Successful Change program. Not to be Change Managers, but to apply the Change SKILLS to their leadership.



Before you attempt to build Change capability...


But before you even go there, show how you can help (always opt to show rather than tell!).

Then when you hear feedback like: "This is the best change we've been through, Change Management adds so much to this, the way we did this is so great - it's a benchmark for how we should do change in the future."

You can go: "Great, we can start to build some of these skills."

This is literally feedback I've heard from projects and business teams when it's the first time they've had my help providing robust Change Management support for their project, transformation or organisation.



Think about what will work best

I always build Change capability in my projects, teams and Change teams, whether I'm an employee, a contractor or right now as a Change Management Consultant and Trainer. 

But I am discerning about what I provide, to who, and when.

It's about finding the right thing, what's going to work best, and often teaching Change capability isn't the best use of your time... or theirs!

Doing Change and leading great change can often get you further faster, and then as part of delivering great change you might give a little bit of insight around Change Management and what you do and focus on.


As I recommend to my LSC Members, it's about leading by example and using some of the business-ready tools to take people on a change journey and get the benefits of change, receive, and see Change in action. When they see it in action, often their mindset changes about what Change Management is and how it can help them.



I'm ready to build Change capability - how do I do it?

When you're ready to build Change capability, you can absolutely build your own resources and tools and information.


Or make it easier and faster on yourself and suggest that people join my Leading Successful Change program, or come along to one of my free webinars (like tomorrow's free Navigating Change with Clarity & Confidence webinar.


And of course, I also do corporate trainings for companies, so if there's a team or group you want to uplift, I can come and deliver that live and exclusive for them. 


One of the benefits of this is: you might be great at Change, but not necessarily teaching it!


But also sometimes having someone external deliver capability means you can get more commitment, cut-through and credibility. One organisation I worked in was moving to agile ways of working and sent everyone off on a 1-day course to learn Agile fundamentals. There just seemed to be more cut-through by taking the capability build away from the day-to-day and giving it to an external provider who isn't in the organisation but has the expertise and experience to build that uplift.



In summary:

So expect to build change capability (because so few people truly know about Change Management).

But if you're experiencing a team that has very low Change maturity, sometimes it's less about building their change capability and more about showcasing great results, quick wins, taking them through the activities, processes or tools to help them get to a clearer understanding, and see the vision for the future.


By showing the power of Change, that's where you start building Change capability and an INTEREST in people wanting to learn more.


Lata xx

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