After the Royal Commissions: managing corporate change
Dr. Colin Benjamin OAM FAICD MAASW, an internationally-recognised Australian polymath and futurist, is the author of ColourGrid™. Based on 40 years of advanced neuroscience research, Gooroo ColourGrid™ helps us understand how we make up our minds. As the Scientific Advisor and Global Futurist at Gooroo, Dr. Benjamin is working to integrate the ColourGrid™ toolkit into Gooroo technology.
Facilitating change at all levels of organisations following a spate of Royal Commissions demands active involvement of all stakeholders in responding to ways to implement changes that are accepted as both necessary and worthwhlle efforts to amend and extend the quality and reputation of the organisation.
A well-structured action learning program engages both staff and key stakeholders constructing a climate of acceptance of necessary reconstruction of the previous corporate realities, and opens the path to thinking about new and different ways to resolve the inherent conflicts between a customer-first climate and the essential return on capital that underpins investment in corporate vitality.
Successful cultural change programs require active consultation and collaboration across the entire organisation, confirming the potential contribution each employee CAN make to achieving a significant value transformation and refocus on the future directions of the enterprise.
Three major steps are involved in responding effectively to the community expectations emerging from the series of Royal Commissions over the past few years.
1. A clear and concise appreciation of the required changes in attitudes, behaviours, choices, decisions and evaluation of client and customer relations.
2. Active engagement of both senior executives and staff at all levels of the organisation in the process of clarifying what needs to change and how those changes are to be introduced in an speedy, sensitive and significantly better manner.
3. Arrangement for a phased and public commitment to measure and monitor the efficiency, effectiveness and effulgence of new pathways to create the desired organizational culture.
A consistent, structured engagement program has to tap into informal communication and career expectations, rewards and recognition, disciplinary approaches, compensation, professional development and performance criteria, and identification with the service to clients and customers that maintain the reputation of the organisation.
In a company-wide change effort, the extent of employee input will determine how to implement the changes at a departmental level, not the issue of whether to make the changes in the first place.
The speed and effectiveness of cultural change depends upon the creation of a trusting, employee-oriented, supportive work environment that is engaged in the difficult process of becoming client-centred as a means of clarifying what COULD improve both returns to shareholders and the maintenance of a social license.
IF, and ONLY IF, every employee has the opportunity to engage with the change objectives of their Board and senior executives and have an impact on the changes there are many opportunities to regain trust inside and beyond the organisation.
The rate and extent of cultural change required under conditions of external turbulence and organisational redevelopment MAY play a significant part in the effectiveness of the transformation process.
The change process must share and communicate the whole and complete picture, ensuring that they feel as they are a part of the whole initiative. This addresses the inevitable response to increasing Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA) that generates unsettling turbulence at all levels of the organisation.
People who know the goals and the outcomes that MAY impact on expectations about the consequences of change and choices available are better place to make better decisions about their work.
For this reason the cultural change process following the Royal Commissions SHOULD provide opportunities for active consultation and communication of the precise nature of different behaviours that are going to determine personal career plans and responsibilities.
The keys to successful change management rely upon the quality of the questions and opportunities for response from staff, clients and end users of the services that are offered following the change process.
According to James O. Pyle and Maryann Karinch, bad questions prompt incomplete or misleading answers and can undermine the extent that people are ready, able and willing to make necessary changes and accept organisational reconstruction.. On the other hand, good questions are a valuable tool of efficiency, competence, and cultural change management..
The key questions to be answered:
· What changes need to be introduced that CAN improve performance?
· What are the specific changes required IF customers needs are met?
· What MAY have to be removed or modified to make way for progress?
· WHEN necessary changes are introduced, who has to be actively engaged and THEN provided with opportunities for involvement?
· What are the SMART ( Simple, Measurable, Actionable, Responsive and Timely) new initiatives that COULD assist everyone to play an active role in developing a socially inclusive culture?
· ONLY IF there is a systematic, open and inclusive process of key stakeholder involvement in setting the future values and vision of the organisation, then there are good prospects that the mission, vision, goals and objectives effective in revitalisation of trust and goodwill.
Organisations seeking to implement a structured approach to people engagment and revitalisation in response to the findings of the Royal Commission may wish to use the GoorooX Transformation Matrix to provide their teams with a structured opportunity to address the questions that open the path to an empowered change program.