Journey in deriving one view of change

Journey in deriving one view of change

We sat down with change whiz Ben Szonyi to understand his journey in deriving one view of change.

Ben is a senior change leader with extensive business improvement experience across the globe. Ben has also held program change lead roles, most recently at Bupa, where he was accountable for designing and delivering large scale, operating model change programs, which included introducing an enterprise view of change to enable strategic planning and decision-making.

 

Ben, tell us about what started the journey to derive the one view of change at Bupa?  What was the pain you were trying to solve?

The main trigger for requiring an enterprise view of change was that the anecdotal evidence was suggesting our people were feeling change fatigue due to a large number of disassociated projects in train or on the roadmap, yet the impact on our people wasn’t a key criteria in the decision making process. To solve this we initially tried simple techniques like graphically displaying the projects we were running centrally from a program office on a Gannt style plan, however this didn’t enable us to see the change programs the business were doing to themselves. This meant at no point in time did we understood the current or future collective impact our people were facing, meaning we were at risk of overloading and ultimately failing to deliver the expected outcomes.

What process did you guys go through?

The first key step was gaining buy-in from our executive committees for the need to change.

Next, once we diagnosed the challenge outlined above, we went about investigating internal and external options for providing an enterprise view of change that also aligned to ur new change management framework.  Our ideal solution was to include not only change impacts but also our peoples’ change readiness and not duplicate what was presented in existing PMO reports. Unfortunately we were not able to find this solution at the time and as a result put our focus into a pragmatic and viable internal solution that leveraged existing tools, i.e. SharePoint and MS Power BI.  The idea was that once we had an internal solution made and the right operating model to support it, we would investigate more robust external solutions.

What worked well and met the business needs?

The part that worked best from an internal solution was leveraging existing tools meant people were familiar with them and they were cost effective.  This also meant we had the ability to continually improve after each iteration based on the feedback of the users.

The other success was the buy-in from our business partners who were very responsive when it came to providing their data points and utilization of the reports.

What didn’t go so well? 

The biggest challenge was gaining buy-in from the internal change team when it came to entering the baseline data (e.g. initiative, impact level by business area and key dates) from their detail change impact assessments as they didn’t see the benefit to them. Once they understood the benefit was for their business stakeholders, they started to get onboard.

Was there anything personally challenging from your perspective? 

The most challenging aspect was the time and effort each month to run it, mainly the chasing of data and the manual effort to generate the extracts, load, analyse and report.

If you had to advise others who are about to take a similar journey what would you recommend?

With more developed products in the market now like The Change Compass, if I had my time again I would partner with one of these companies to not only get an off the shelf solution but also one that has learnt from other organisations’ mistakes. This would also mean that you could have a more automated solution.  Also, don’t underestimate the time and effort required to gain buy-in from not only your stakeholders, but also your change managers/ agents by ensuring you have a clear WIIFM story.

Based on your experience, what do you see to be the next phase of development for change management?

After working in Marketing more recently, I feel that the key for change management is to treat change initiatives like marketing campaigns where you are clear about the target audience, their needs and measurable outcomes by use of data and a continuous improvement approach.  The more we can make change a science and not just an art, we will gain more respect from our stakeholders by demonstrable positive impact.

How Insurance Australia Group (IAG) delivers change using data and insights – Fireside chat with Ross Jeffrey, Manager Change Governance & Frameworks

How Insurance Australia Group (IAG) delivers change using data and insights – Fireside chat with Ross Jeffrey, Manager Change Governance & Frameworks

Tell me about the state of play at IAG and your role in addressing this.

IAG was at the forefront of rolling out large transformational change programs over a relatively short space of time. For our leaders, the impact on our people and customers was very clear.

Within this environment, there was a genuine need to understand the accumulative effects of change, audience impacts, and timings. This information would enable leaders to prepare for and effectively deliver and embed change.

We began investigating platforms to efficiently capture change impact data that was easy to use and relatively inexpensive, with automated reporting. The Change Compass met these requirements.

How did you introduce this to the organisation?

In the context of the change environment at IAG, we wanted to capture a true reflection of the volume and complexity of change impacting each business area to enable meaningful dialogue with leaders about how to effectively deliver and lead through the change.

By appointing heatmap coordinators within each business unit, we drove accountability for input and maintenance within business units. This underpinned the notion that each team was responsible for leading their change while maintaining the quality of the data.

This enabled teams to present a holistic change view to key leadership groups within governance forums.

What has been your journey so far?

We’ve been using the Change Compass for over a year and we’re constantly evolving how we use and manage the tool to drive decisions and actionable insights.

We’ve worked hard over the last year to demonstrate the value to the business when it may have easily been perceived as adding more work to reporting cycles.

With data now enabling leaders to show a heatmap for both employees and customers; leverage insights; and drive governance conversations between Business Performance, HR, Communications, Change and Program Delivery teams we are building great momentum.

These conversations help guide decision making and build a network of key teams who are clear on how this work contributes to IAG strategy while driving change management, engagement, communications, and initiative sequencing.

What value have you seen so far?

While we are still at the front-end of how to utilise the Change Compass fully, we’re starting to see benefits.

There are many conversations focused on how we can keep the data current and relevant. This enables Business Units to start using the information to improve how they are delivering change, not just at the initiative level but at a wider business portfolio level.

The Compass is starting to form a useful proxy to bring together professional disciplines in governance conversations and decisions.

One of the emerging themes across IAG is the need for us to be much more effective at how we deliver change into the business in a way that recognises the capacity of the people to accept change – the Change Compass helps guide this thinking.

What’s next?

Having established the rhythms and routines, we are now focused on how governance sessions and key groups leverage data and insights beyond the heatmap.

We want to enable leaders to use the Change Compass to help inform how they lead their team through change – by using the data to implement specific mitigations and ultimately deliver more effective and sustainable change.