Architect and Lead Change

Two traps await organizations seeking to jump-start strategic change. One is the trap of having multiple, poorly coordinated efforts with overlapping goals, special teams and/or consultants and no or little accountability through the line organization. The other is initiative overload: too many (or too large) efforts that overwhelm management and alienate employees who are weary of change and skeptical of the latest corporate program.

TruePoint helps leaders develop and execute against an integrated multi-year, multi-level change roadmap that sharpens focus and reduces overload. This roadmap for change addresses the immediate needs—managing the current business and delivering short-term performance result—while progressing with the broader strategic agenda. We build this roadmap in three steps:

1. Set Direction. The starting point is to create a credible “change story” based on answers to three questions:

  • Why change? Most leaders can articulate the case for change, but often it is neither truly owned by the top team nor compelling to the broader organization.
  • What and who must change? A powerful change story must link performance needs (what needs to change?) to people needs (who needs to change?).
  • How capable are we of pulling this off? At one level this is about learning from past initiatives. At another it is about having the honest conversations to surface the barriers that threaten progress.

2. Architect Change. If Step 1 is about deep and honest evaluation, Step 2 is about pragmatism. What needs to be done typically outstrips people’s finite capacity for change. Simply mapping a long list of actions for each issue leads to overload and lack of integration. We work in a different way, helping clients to:

  • Plan in episodes. We believe in approaching change efforts like the writer of a TV series, sketching out the full series and the themes for each show, but writing only the first couple of episodes in detail. Much can be learned by watching the first few episodes play out before populating others.
  • Make initiatives do double work. For example, rather than having a performance initiative here and a training initiative there, it often makes sense to combine them for better results and better learning.
  • Draw from a wide range of methodologies. Sometimes change planning feels like a hammer looking for a nail and organizations end up relying too heavily on one discipline—such as reengineering or quality teams. We draw on multiple disciplines and develop new approaches when needed.

3. Act. We have strong views on the fallacy of programmatic change led by corporate staff or consultants taking a steamroller approach. Our approach is led by line managers and builds in learning at all stages. We quickly address performance improvement to create confidence and momentum while at the same time building new skills and behaviors. We also help create the governance and project management needed to support meaningful action.

Insights

"TruePoint's strength is that they're very perceptive and savvy at understanding the key levers of any organization of what drives change."

LYNNE WEEDALL, FORMER VP, WHITBREAD GROUP