Change Strategy – Appleton Greene
Appleton Greene – The pace of business is accelerating, and companies must change in response. Yet 50-75% of change programs fail. Companies that implement change effectively give themselves a significant competitive edge by focusing on the factors that are essential to success: ensuring Executional Certainty; establishing effective sponsorship, governance, and a program management office (PMO); enabling the extended leadership team; and engaging the broader organization. Companies need a comprehensive, systematic approach to implementing change that focuses on the components that matter most.
Most companies understand that the ability to deliver bold change is increasingly critical to competitive advantage. That means more comprehensive—and more frequent—change programs. Many boards have appointed CEOs and senior executives with that explicit mandate, and almost all leaders recognize the need to take even successful enterprises to new levels of performance. But organizational change initiatives have a very low success rate and executives need to understand the stumbling blocks that cause transformation efforts to fail. Per some leading global surveys, two factors have increasingly become recognized as the leading causes of failed change initiatives a) A lack of clearly defined milestones and objectives to gauge progress; and b) A lack of, or insufficient commitment, by senior management. Success requires overcoming these challenges head-on, through a comprehensive and structured change effort that includes the right mix of processes, governance, metrics, and behaviors. Moreover, building superior and lasting change capabilities has become a competitive advantage. Companies that are ready, willing, and able to face the challenges of change initiatives are better equipped to manage new changes over time. A lack of clearly defined milestones and a lack of or insufficient commitment by senior management have increasingly become recognized as the leading causes of failed change initiatives.
Methods used in successful change projects are all based on one fundamental insight: that major change will not happen easily for a long list of challenges as mentioned above. To be effective, a method designed to alter strategies, re-engineer processes, or improve quality must address these challenges.
Therefore, for a change program to be successful following steps need to be undertaken: Creating a sense of urgency – driven by the management of the company, this is primarily the step where ‘tone’ is set at the top based on data which would be identifying major opportunities or potential challenges; Creating a guiding coalition/ team – it is important for the management then to identify a team of people with full autonomy and responsibility to make that change happen under the guidance of the management; Developing a vision and strategy for change – under this step that team through a workshop or a series of workshops identifies / defines the broad strategy / vision for change – depending on the scope of change this could either be to increase efficiency at a process level or entering / capturing new markets; Communicating the change vision – this is probably the most important step in the journey to’ change’ whereby, depending on the type of change (business, department/ function or process) the vision and strategy are effectively communicated to wider organization; Implementation road map and allocation of resources – a detailed implementation road map is prepared and ‘rigor tested’ to ensure that all the ‘key implementation steps’, risks, costs, performance indicators and timelines are agreed and implementation responsibilities fixed; Project management, ongoing reviews and celebration of small successes – Implementation is project managed using the ‘implementation life cycle methodology’ and periodic reviews are undertaken to ensure that all tasks are going as planned, costs are being managed to budget and risks are managed pro-actively. This will ensure that the ‘change team’ delivers as tasked; Project closure, learning and communication – project closure meetings are a key to developing a culture of change in the organization. Here not only are the successes, the near misses and education discussed by the project team, ongoing challenges are also discussed and new projects outlined. This ensures that ‘managing change’ becomes an ongoing process and becomes the DNA of the organization.
Companies can elect whether they just require Appleton Greene for advice and support with the Bronze Client Service, for research and performance analysis with the Silver Client Service, for facilitating departmental workshops with the Gold Client Service, or for complete process planning, development, implementation, management and review, with the Platinum Client Service. Ultimately, there is a service to suit every situation and every budget and clients can elect to either upgrade or downgrade from one service to another as and when required, providing complete flexibility in order to ensure that the right level of support is available over a sustainable period of time, enabling the organization to compensate for any prescriptive or emergent changes relating to: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Information Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing; or Production.
Change Management service will help companies ensure that the probability of success of their ‘change agenda’ increases significantly, with the use of a very well-articulated process. This process is rigorous enough to help companies assess measurable impact and risks & rewards as they go through this journey of change. The ambition of this service is for companies to move away from being reactive to change and to become pro-active to change by institutionalizing a culture of ‘leading change’ and not ‘Managing Change’. An good example of this is a multi-billion $ finance change program that was initiated by one of the leading financial services companies in the world. The objective of the program was to move from archaic and often disjointed finance processes to a slick and smart business support function. This entailed a complete overhaul of the three elements of people, process and systems at a global scale.
The program was initiated at a global scale and four years into it and after spending close to USD 150 Mio, the company realized that the project was actually failing given that they had made incorrect choices of leadership for the program and had grossly underestimated the impact/ scale of change. Realizing this the senior management jolted the system by creating a ‘sense of urgency’ among the ranks and re-vamped the entire team, while scaling down the spend to a focused pilot in its North American operations. By doing this, they dramatically increased the probability of change by bringing a sense of urgency and scaling back their global ambitions till the time the ‘pilot’ was successful. This was a ‘game changer’ the company successfully rolled out the program Globally and managed change incrementally and on a ‘business case’ basis. As they moved away from the approach of throwing money at a ‘big’ change idea to a well-articulated and manageable change program, they were able to establish a globally cohesive ‘finance function’ at optimal cost. The function today has change from being a ‘compliance’ function to a ‘business partner’ in decision making.
Mr Chopra is an approved Senior Consultant at Appleton Greene and he has experience in management, finance and globalization. He has achieved a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School. He has industry experience within the following sectors: Banking & Financial Services; Consultancy; Energy; Manufacturing and Accountancy. He has had commercial experience within the following countries: India; United States of America; United Kingdom and Singapore, or more specifically within the following cities: New Delhi; New York NY; San Francisco CA; London and Singapore. His personal achievements include: NYSE listing for Azure Power – USD 136 mil; reduction of supply chain costs by over 20% – USD 40 mil; scaled operations by 20X in under 4 years; Global Finance Change Program at HSBC – re-engineering of global processes – 15% efficiency, rolled out a global GL and rated as top 100 finance leaders for 5 years running at HSBC. His service skills incorporate: change management; project management; internal controls & audits and business strategy.
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