How to approach change programmes - Interview with Lauren Taylor, Part #3

How to approach change programmes - Interview with Lauren Taylor, Part #3

Lucy Bielby Market Insight

Lauren Taylor HR & People Transformation expert was interviewed by our Director, Lucy Bielby about how organisations can effectively look to the future and identify how they can operate as efficiently as possible.

Lauren has supported organisations including BT, British American Tobacco and more recently Marsh & McLennan through periods of change. In a series of questions, Lucy wanted to understand from Lauren, her thoughts as to how organisations should be approaching any change programmes ahead, whilst drawing on any lessons that she has learnt along the way.


What observations have you had in the past on planning for change?

One of the key learnings is that organisations always underestimate the amount of time change can take, and the current scenario isn’t one that any of us have planned for.

Whilst today we know that change is ahead. Often the thing that pushes it forwards is rumours about what is going to happen. With organisations then working to tighter timescales, it often means that they don’t have time to test that these things will work nor identify that they have ‘got it right’. This means that they either can’t predict the impact or are making changes up to last minute.

Now is the time to take stock and if the opportunity allows, to bring in external expertise if an organisation doesn’t already have the right skillset.

A light has been shone on all areas. If organisations plan now, then they can take their time to implement effectivity.


What are your final thoughts on the current situation?

Organisations really should be thinking about what model works for them, it isn’t going to be a one size fits all and will depend on the size and scale of the organisation and demographic of employees. Take this time to really review their business, look at what has been working successfully during this time and how. Is this change something that has been beneficial or was it part of your contingency only? We can’t say that we won’t see this again in the future and whilst some contingency plans have proved that they were fit for purpose, this is also a time to reflect.

Work with an expert who has previous experience of helping businesses to make those key decisions. It’s often easier when somebody isn’t ingrained in the business and can review with an impartial, fresh set of eyes.


What would your recommendation be when sourcing for change ?

If you are in a position to buy in resource to support you with critical change activity then I would recommend an expert in transformation and somebody who can be involved in strategic review and planning, design and who can support and influence stakeholders. An interim will already be aware from their years of experience, exactly what can go wrong and will have the ability to take you through to delivery. 

I have found that these projects work best when I’ve been brought in at the early planning stages. That said, I’ve also picked up projects that have been given to employees internally and unfortunately those individuals don’t always have the right skillset. To deliver successfully a project or programme of this size you need change management, Comms, ER alongside business acumen – rounded experience.

The difference between hiring an Interim and a Consultancy is that although the consultancies can be great at looking at TOM / Organisational design. I’ve found that they don’t always ingrain themselves in a business and take into account what can really lift / shift / move.

This is not a business as usual scenario, it is changing both the business and people and it needs a defined skillset. We are and will be for a fair while in a changing world and organisations will need to move quickly throughout this.


If you would like to discuss how Lauren may be able to support you through any upcoming change related projects, please contact Lucy Bielby.

The full Q & A is available here