Tag Archives: change programs

Architecting the Organization for Change

Architecting the Organization for ChangeIn my last article and the first free download from the Change Planning Toolkit™ on The Five Keys to Successful Change™ we looked at the five different disciplines that must come together to make any organizational change effort (or even a project) successful. They included:

  1. Change Planning
  2. Change Leadership
  3. Change Management
  4. Change Maintenance
  5. Change Portfolio Management

While most people would agree that change is a constant, it is not however a constant focus for the business. One of the reasons many organizations are so bad at change is that they are not architected for change and pay attention to only one or two of The Five Keys to Successful Change™. Instead most organizations focus on executing the day-to-day business and they focus on executing a portfolio of projects, hopefully on time and on budget. In some cases, projects may incorporate some elements of Change Management (usually too late in the process) and ignore Change Planning, Change Leadership, Change Maintenance, and Change Portfolio Management.

As a result, most organizations are terrible at change. And ultimately, most organizations are bad at innovation because they’re bad at change.

Most companies focus on delivering a set of new systems, products, and services prioritized purely on the ROI they may return, instead of consciously executing ‘Big C change efforts’ and ‘Little C change projects’ to support a constantly evolving business architecture that changes in support of a fluid strategy driven by constantly changing customer behaviors (including wants/needs), regulation and competition, and influencing changes in employee, supplier, and partner behaviors. Continuous improvement and innovation then are effectively tools used to keep the organization successfully aligned to maintain the optimum levels of competitiveness and customer connection.

In this article we will explore some of the ways that organizations need to re-think the way that the firm is structured, in order to place change purposefully at the center, enabling enable increases in organizational agility and the building of continuous change capabilities.

Architecting the Organization for Change

Architecting the Organization for Change helps organizations:

  • Visualize a new way to increase organizational agility
  • Integrate changes in the marketplace and customer behavior into the strategy
  • Create a new organizational architecture that integrates all five elements of organizational change
  • Make project, behavior and communications planning and management a central component of your change efforts

One thing that should immediately jump out as you look at the image of the Change Planning Toolkit™ download titled Architecting the Organization for Change, is that The Five Keys to Successful Change™ are embedded in the framework.

Change Maintenance forms the foundation of a change-centric organization, ensuring that the changes necessary to ensure a healthy firm continue to persist (or are “maintained”), while the top of the organizational pyramid is driven by a conscious strategy that evolves over time, informed by changes in customer behavior and changes in the marketplace.

The strategy of the firm then determines the appropriate business architecture, and as the organization’s strategy changes, the business architecture may also need to change. Any necessary changes in the architecture of the business (new or updated capabilities or competencies) then will lead to modifications to the portfolio of change initiatives and projects (and remember every project is a change effort). These projects and initiatives will consist of innovation initiatives and efforts to create positive changes in the operations of the business.

The change efforts and projects identified as necessary and invested in as part of the change portfolio then represent projects that impact the innovation and operations for the firm, and in order to successfully execute them in the short term includes change planning, management, and leadership, and in the longer term the maintenance of the required changes.

And for the change efforts and projects to be successful the organization must also focus on project planning and management, behavior planning and management, and communications planning and management. The related projects, behaviors, and communications must all be effectively planned and managed in a way that keeps all three in sync.

I hope you see that by increasing your focus on the Change Planning discipline and increased use of the Change Planning Toolkit™ and tools like the Architecting the Organization for Change framework will allow businesses to more collaboratively and visually plan each change effort and prepare the plans for the Change Management and Change Leadership teams to execute with help from the Project Planning, Project Management, and Change Maintenance professionals in the organization.

I hope you’ll come join me on this journey to improve the pace and execution of change efforts in our organizations!

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What Change Roles Are Missing?

What Change Roles Are Missing?

I’m gearing up to write a new app and book on organizational change to complement a powerful new visual change toolkit that will be incredibly useful for use in change programs, project and portfolio management, and even innovation, and so I’m canvasing the organizational change literature space (including change leadership, change management, and business transformation) and looking to identify:

  1. The best organizational change thought leaders
  2. The most powerful organizational change frameworks
  3. The most useful organizational change tools
  4. The best organizational change books (including change leadership, change management, and business transformation)

Please contact me to tell me your favorites or add below in the comments.

I will be launching a new community and information site soon to launch this visual change toolkit free to the world, in an extremely collaborative way. Which is why I’m looking for your thoughts on the four items above. Once the skeleton site is up in the next week or so, people will also be able to submit their suggestions on the site.

But in the meantime, based on the success of the Nine Innovation Roles from my last book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire and some ideas that have been triggered by the work I’ve done in various workshops with organizations around the world with the Nine Innovation Roles, I’ve decided to identify a similar set of roles that people should make sure are occupied on their guiding coalitions.

And as I look at the Nine Innovation Roles there are a few that are still applicable in a broader change context (after all, Innovation Is All About Change). Here are the ones that I believe still are necessary in an organizational change program:

1. Revolutionary

The Revolutionary is the person who is always eager to change things, to shake them up, and to share his or her opinion. These people are uncomfortable standing still and not shy about sharing their opinions. Often they see the status quo as not good enough, so the Revolutionary wants to change it.

2. Architect

Change doesn’t emerge from a vacuum. Someone has to see the bigger picture, bring the idea fragments together and create a cohesive change program, a new business architecture, and guide people to create a collection of project artifacts to help guide the change effort. This is the role of the Architect.

3. Artist

The Artist doesn’t seek change like the Revolutionary or see the big picture like the Architect, but Artists are really good at evolving the seeds of change, shaping them, watering them, and ultimately making the impetus for change more clear, the benefits more compelling, and the change plan more complete.

4. Barrier Buster

Every change effort should identify several potential barriers to change, and the team must identify ways to overcome them before the change program is ready to be communicated to the masses. This is where the Barrier Buster comes in. Barrier Busters love solving tough problems and often have the deep domain knowledge or the deep insight into the change target’s mindset necessary to move minds and resources to support the change program.

5. Connector

The Connector does just that. These people hear a Revolutionary say something interesting and put him together with an Architect and an Evangelist; The Connector listens to the Artist and knows exactly where to find the Barrier Buster that the change effort needs.

6. Lion Tamer

The Lion Tamer is really good at identifying risks, potential negative outcomes, and the steps necessary to implement a change. Lion Tamers take the unwieldy beast that any change program can easily become, tame it, help break it down into digestible chunks, and make it real. These are the people who can picture how the change is going to be made and line up the right resources to make it happen.

7. Evangelist

The Evangelists know how to educate people on what the change is and help them understand it. Evangelists are great people to help attract guiding coalition members and to build support for a change effort among leadership. Evangelists also are great at both evangelizing on behalf of customers, employees and partners, but also in helping to educate customers, employees, and partners on the value of the change effort.



So, that’s only a first cut at a set of Change Roles that must be filled on the guiding coalition or the change program team.

What roles are missing?

Are there any there that are not needed or redundant?

Please sound off in the comments below.

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