Case Studies

Pre Change assessment

Emergent Change agreed to conduct an initial exploration and assessment, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, into the challenges facing the organisation. What this was intended to do was explore the nature of the changes being considered and thus the best strategic options to proceed in managing them. As an integral part of this a preliminary Risk and Issue assessment was carried out. The client organisation was very probably capable of doing some of this for itself, but what Emergent Change was able to bring was

  • a completely independent assessment of the situation
  • the knowledge and experience of similar challenges in other organisations
  • a range of Best Practice approaches, shared to enhance the capabilities of the client
  • the focus and drive to deliver what was useful for the client needs

The first stage of the exploration was to spend some quality 1:1 time with all the key stakeholders. This was about getting to know what their hopes and aspirations were, what the future might look like and what concerns might "keep them awake at night". This was also about building trust and an understanding of how we would be working together through the longer term change processes - should they wish to do that.

After all the preliminary information gathering, an assessment of the nature of the change showed it to have three characterisitcs (i) Complex (ii) Emergent and (iii) Highly Subjective - all key indicators of 'Messy' change where there is no one view of the truth, no agreement on the problem(s) to be solved or the solution(s) needed. Once the nature of the change was clear the board then considered their options. 'Complex' and 'Emergent' change is best managed in stages (well, most complex change generally is) and 'Subjective' change is best handled through extensive face to face communications, building visibility / trust and by using other subjective techniques such as whole systems events.

From this work the board decided that the most appropriate way forward was to shift the change from a Subjective form to an Objective form as they simply did not have the capacity to consider a lot of communications activities. From this choice it was then possible to build a proposal of how the change could be developed, managed and delivered.

Also from this work it became clear that there were other, underlying issues, that had not been considered or fully resolved before. These deeper issues went well beyond the structure and governance initially present - but that is so often the case

The key benefits for the client at this stage were:

  • a much clearer and collective view of the situation they found themselves in
  • a clear and collective view of Business Risks
  • a collective agreement of what were the key priorities (i.e. problems to be solved) and a process in place to actively manage them
  • a strategic roadmap of how to deliver the changes
  • a substantial shift in the level of energy, commitment and coherence of the Board itself