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Change: the common errors we make part II

Last month we spoke about getting the goals and targets clear and defined up-front before launching into a change program.

In this blog, we’ll talk about another common trap that can overly complicate change: leadership skills. A recent McKinsey article clearly articulated this issue: “Sometimes, there are enough people working on a change program—but they don’t have the requisite capabilities. At good-implementer companies, a rigorous capability-building component is central to the program and typically involves the creation and use of a detailed skill matrix to highlight skill gaps and training needs, stringent evaluation processes,and clear professional-development and career paths.”*

We see this mainly within the ability of the leaders to successfully lead their people through the change initiative. This includes the up-front “change is coming” phase, the “change is happening” phase, and the “morning after” phase where the organisation is trying to stabilise and sustain the change, usually as the next change initiative is warming itself up!

It is typically assumed that leaders, having reached their current level, have accumulated the required skills, knowledge and experience to just get on with it. Our experience shows that this is not typically the case.

Procsi** have undertaken numerous studies and have highlighted that the required skills of leaders boil down to a few simple capabilities:

  • communication

  • liaison

  • coaching

  • resistance management

  • advocacy

Spending some time with leaders to help them understand how people react and deal with change, and the key skills leaders need to successfully deploy the capabilities needed is a small investment to increase the likelihood of change success.

If you think you need some help with this, get in touch and let us share with you our experience is deploying real, sustainable change.

* "Secrets to implementation success”, by Frédéric Lefort, Dave McMurray, and Joseph Tesvic, July 2015,

** "Best Practices in change management – 2012 edition”, Prosci,

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