The ever and faster-changing marketplace demands organisations to be more agile, add value to customers and beat the competition while engaging employees. These demands require great strong organisational change management capabilities, yet still two-third of the large-scale change programs fail. One of the major causes for this failure can be found in the lack of applying the right change management approach in the right situation.
Most change management approaches focus on a specific aspect of change management, for instance the effectiveness of individuals and teams, the top-down approach, a strategy change or change of organisational values. They often neglect their surroundings. In this article we’ll introduce a model that does take into account these surroundings, enabling a higher success rate.
The model is comprised of the Competing Value Framework, the Insight Development Model and the Organisational Cultural Assessment Instrument as these models all show similar characteristics while focussing on different areas of change management. This way individual and organisational effectiveness as well as culture all come together in one. With this combination a powerful and easy to understand tool is provides to:
a) Identify desired outcomes;
b) Steer organisational practises;
c) Show personal effectiveness as a leader;
d) Evaluate achieving desired outcomes.
What does a combination of models look like?
Criteria of organisational effectiveness can be sorted through two different dimensions (see figure 1). On the left the internal oriented and on the right that of external oriented organisations. The second dimension is related to organisational structure showing the more structured organisations (top) and the more flexible and organic organisations below. This creates four quadrants, all with typical characteristics on organisational as well as individual level.
Figure 1. Combining the characteristics of the CFV, Insight Development Model and OCAI provides a powerful and understandable tool
The top right quadrant (red) represents organisations with a strong market culture. These organisations act fast, reward their performers and confront problems as soon as they occur. Motivators, dealmakers and competitors will feel at home in these types of organisations. Their main focus is profits and speed, and they have the tendency to act short term. This quadrant can easily be remembered as the compete quadrant.
The yellow quadrant is also externally oriented but is more flexible. Hierarchy and structure are vague. In these types of organisation it’s about investing in new products, markets and ventures. It’s the place where the visionary, the entrepreneur feel best and where management takes charge. It’s about destroying the old way of doing thing and being first. These organisations have a strong culture of adhocracy. This quadrant can easily be remembered as the create quadrant.
The green quadrant represents the family or clan oriented culture. In these types of organisations building teams, facilitate people and encouraging commitment are general practises. Here, the supporter, community builder and facilitator will feel at home. The clan has the tendency to look far ahead and strive for long-term development and creating a sense of cohesion in the organisation. This quadrant can easily be remembered as the collaborate quadrant.
The blue quadrant has a strong internal orientation and is more structured. They are constantly improving processes, systems, structures and standards. It’s the place where the observer, the problem solver and coordinator feel best. These types of organisations prevent people from making costly mistakes. They implement systems to control and employ technology on a large scale. They have the tendency to take small and incremental steps. A culture that fits this type of organisation best is that of a hierarchy. This quadrant can easily be remembered as the control quadrant.
A cultural assessment instrument positioning organisations
While reading the previous paragraphs we might have noticed similarities of organisations we all know well and positioned their organisational characteristics in one or more of the quadrants. Recognising organisational characteristics is essential and the Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument can specify these characteristics. The assessment can be done in small all larger teams resulting in a clear picture on where an organisation can be positioned within each of the four quadrants and where it wants to go. This can be visualised as shown in below diagram.
Figure 2. Example of a diagram after using the assessment. The white diagram represents the current situation. The dotted black diagram represents the desired state.
When the typical characteristics of an organisation become clear a plan of approach can be drawn up for changing organisational practises.
Mixing organisational and personal characteristics
While executing a plan of approach leaders and other influencers have to understand where they stand as an individual. Understand preferences in behaviour and communication. Being a ‘red’ manager and therefore fast, short-term and task oriented will work well amongst the members of a management team. Less effective it will be when requiring people oriented co-workers and the ones who strive for long-term development to deliver fast results. The same goes for those being ‘blue’. Task and detail oriented, structured and taking a step-by-step approach individuals will have a hard time engaging the yellow, more people oriented and creative entrepreneur. Leaders and influencers need to match personal leadership and communication style with that of their counterpart, increasing the changes of achieving their goals and getting their messages across.
In the example above the ‘red’ manager should have a conversation with the ‘green’ co-worker on how fast things can be delivered and with that establish consensus.
“Successful change management is a balanced mix of new organisational characteristics with existing ones.”
In todays market place more and more organisations need to become more agile and adaptable (yellow). Achieving this desired state is sometimes being done through innovation teams. These teams, often small, have a hard time finding their way reaching their goals as dominant organisational practises block their path, like standards, procedures and systems (blue). Friction is caused as both entities have competing values and practises. This often can be solved by realising impactful change (yellow) in an incremental way, in which a ‘blue’ organisation will feel more comfortable. At the same time find ways to minimise hierarchy giving room for ‘yellow’ characteristics to arise, while holding on to some form of progress reporting as this fits the ‘blue’ characteristics of the organisation.
Using the combination of models with the assessment instrument provides the organisation a better understanding on how to get where the organisation want to go. This enables everyone to really make a difference. When this happens it increases the success factor of all change management programs.