A former leader of McKinsey’s Organization Practice, Stephen has advised on dozens of reorganisations across the globe and was adviser on energy and environment to former UK Prime Minister David Cameron. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Martin School, Oxford University.
Based on his experience, Stephen provided some interesting insights. Several messages resonated with us:
- Develop very clear justification and identify the desired outcomes for any change.
- Assess the size of the prize to ascertain if a reorganisation is worth the effort.
- Put your own people at the centre, change can only be effective and sustained with their involvement.
- Outsourcing the problem will not lead to a resolution. Consultants can’t do this for you, but they can do it with you. Make sure you own the problem and its resolution.
- Communication, coordination and achieving true accountability and ownership amongst your people to deliver the outcomes are all key.
- Authentic interactions, openness and reassurance will cultivate trust among people, which will result in more positive outcomes.
- Planning and end to end engagement is vital to the success of achieving change and reorganisations but sustainable change needs to be organically cultivated rather than mechanically implemented.
Experts tend to make things sound complicated. Actually, it’s simple – organisations are about people and changing an organisation simply means supporting people to cultivate new habits, behaviour and mood.
Waste is generated through unnecessary complexity and a lack of clarity of what needs to be done and why. We start by understanding the sense of purpose of the organisation and work with people to reflect that in the network of commitments that they make to each other.