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Breakthrough in Successful Organization Change
December 02,2019 [ by Larry Chao ] 2014 Read and 0 Comment

The role of consultants in assisting organizations to change no longer works. It is time to follow a different recipe that relies on the 80/20 rule, management ownership, and good collaboration.

Successful organization change is all about identifying a few vital areas that need to change, involving the management team in creating solutions, and then supporting the effort with flexible milestones and great communication. It is about being straightforward and logical.

In most organization change cases, top management knows – or should know, what and how to change. They do not need hoards of consultants to do all the thinking for them and to analyse everything.

Instead, the role of the consultant is to assist management set new direction, understand the implications of change for the organization and agree on a sensible change program.

Let me briefly outline what this “assist role” looks like in three areas:

To begin with, management and the rest of the organization need to understand the business context, reasons for change and the vital few areas that need to change. Of course, they also need to understand the impact of change across the organization. But they do not need to understand and document every detail of the change process. Trying to change everything only adds complexity. People become weary over time and lose sight of the big picture. Management can leverage change by looking at the business holistically, then focusing on only the few vital areas of change.

Second, it is line management, not consultants, who must take ownership of the change process. Sure, having “a roadmap” plan for change, discipline and best practices is important to guide change, but too much process simply confuses people. Achieving change is the goal, not following the process. The role of the consultant is to simplify and make sure people understand the change, how it affects them and what success looks like. It is not to create the solution in isolation or in a way that people do not understand how to implement it – which happens a lot!

Finally, the role of the consultant is to facilitate change across the critical areas of the business. Here is where a lot of organizations lose change momentum as silos, apathy, mixed priorities, etc., all conspire to short circuit the change effort. This involves constant communications and collaboration across change activities and across different functions. One of the greatest values a consultant can bring to the change process is to help orchestrate the change, facilitate effective decision-making and keep people updated, as often there are many moving parts that need to be coordinated to make things work.

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