Implementing Principles of Transformational Change
“Put Systems in Place for Sustainability”

Using the sketch below, illustrating the three main phases of a Transformational Change Programme, which I talked about last month, please note that the third phase is focused on activities associated with sustaining and ensuring a Continuous Improvement (CI) culture. This phase is a distinct set of activities that follow the implementation of change after the pilot and roll out phases.

Many organisations omit these “processes” believing a good implementation of change will stick unaided. However using the principles and philosophy of Systems Thinking, clear systems of sustainability need to be implemented.

The list of the ten key processes to be implemented are highlighted below.

These integrated processes ensure that everyone at all levels are continually using new ways of working, thinking, creating new behaviours and ensuring that initiatives don’t become fads.

  • Reviews at all levels of the business. There needs to be appropriate agenda items and possibly new meetings, where required, to ensure that the tools and techniques, infrastructure and capability are all discussed and measured and tracked for improvement. These meetings should involve senior managers, middle and line managers and also the day-to-day operating teams.
  • Senior management visible involvement and support. Simple mechanisms need to be in place to ensure that senior leaders are supporting the continuous improvement and take interest in the processes that are being used to achieve business results. This often involves regular interaction with operating teams in the workplace and at various improvement interventions.
  • Control and monitoring of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). Measures need to be put in place at all levels to track and measure not only the business results but the tools and techniques and methodologies that are being used to achieve them. Although many businesses have KPI’s and measures, they are rarely the appropriate ones to measure the performance of improvement processes.
  • Auditing processes designed around team involvement. Regular audits must take place that are designed to measure the tools and techniques, infrastructure and the raising capability of individuals and teams. These need to be designed to be used by teams of people that generate the right discussions and learning between each other and not conducted by an individual “expert” reporting back performance to the “Boss”.
  • Create System Owners and define key roles. During the rollout phase people within the business will be identified as keen supporters and have the right skills and attitude to become the “owners” of various parts of the continuous improvements systems and procedures. Without this internal ownership new ways of working will revert back to old ways of working relatively quickly.
  • Communication formal and informal. The right methods, procedures and processes need to be in place to continue the discussion and maintain awareness of the new culture and the ways in which new behaviours are expected.
  • Links to Appraisal Systems. Key people who have been identified as the System Owners or key leaders for Continuous Improvement must be recognised and measured for their involvement in implementing and maintaining change. This should be done through the appraisal process and discussed, coached and monitored on a regular basis.
  • On boarding of New Employees. Over time new employees will join the company or move from one department to another. Therefore, there needs to be processes in place to ensure that these people are trained and made aware of what the expectations are associated with the appropriate ways of working.
  • Refresher Training and Qualification. To maintain awareness, from time to time employees should attend refresher training to maintain the level of understanding of the new ways of working. Internal resource should be developed to deliver this.
  • Documented Processes. All of the above needs to be underpinned by appropriate levels of documentation that can be referred to as a reminder of the purpose of new processes and its processes and methods of working.

 Martin Gummery, Managing Director, NewLeaf International Ltd

Tel: 01905 425209