Ian Dodds Consulting’s (IDC) Monthly Best Practice: Sep 2014
By Ian Dodds – The Inclusion Builder
To deliver major change programmes successfully build an inclusive culture
In these blogs over the last several months I’ve written about the business benefits that come from leveraging the Power of Inclusion. This month I want to describe a big business benefit that I have never known to be referred to before, which is that building an inclusive culture is a significant contributor to the success of major, organisational change programmes.
As regular readers will know I have been helping organisations of all kinds deliver transformational change programmes successfully for over 30 years. In fact, I have been the organisation development (OD) person helping to deliver these major change programmes in all kinds of organisations. These have included a failing chemicals factory, which in a period of 5 years I helped transform to one of the best in the Group worldwide. The Group was ICI, then the largest Chemicals Group in the world. Another example was a global business with 11,000 employees which was losing money. In 3 years I had contributed the OD knowhow to enable it become profitable through a ‘Fighting for the Customer’ change programme. In the public sector this same knowhow helped the largest office in HMRC transform itself in 2 years from being one of the worst performers to being one of the best. In fact, at the end of the transformation, the office had a fly-on-the-wall business reporter from the Sunday Telegraph observe it for 2 weeks. In a subsequent glowing article about the office he wrote: “I don’t think I have ever been in an office with a stronger sense of purpose, contentment, candour, coherence or vigour”.
In all those examples and many more we used the 5 stages of change in which we:
(‘Unfreeze’) conducted an activity, usually a diagnostic, to help people realise that change was necessary for future organisational success.
(‘Mobilise’) set up an offline change steering group to formulate a vision of success for the organisation underpinned by: everyone being valued and respected; listened to; and enabled to perform to their best. In other words the vision of future organisational success was underpinned by developing an inclusive culture.
(‘Realise’) via line management we cascaded the vision of future success to everyone throughout the organisation. Each operational team across the organisation was asked what they thought would help and hinder delivering the vision. In an inclusive manner everyone’s views through the feedback from this was taken into account in formulating and rolling out a strategy to deliver the vision.
(‘Embedding’) worked with the leadership teams to help them identify and be role model exemplars in the behaviours needed to drive the change strategy. These always included inclusive behaviours such as: listening; empowering; helping people identify their talents and develop them for success now and in the future. We also trained middle and front line managers in interactive effectiveness so that they could lead their teams inclusively.
(‘Sustain’) shared success stories of the new vision in action and trained internal change agents and coaches to maintain the change.
This process is the one, in fact, which we use to help our clients build an inclusive culture, which is not necessarily intended to drive transformation. However, where it is, then the 5 stages described above are major enablers of driving transformational change. If you would like to discuss how we can help you build an inclusive, high performing culture or deliver a major, transformational change programme that needs to succeed please do get in touch.
Dr Ian Dodds,
29 Aug 2014