A Travel~Bag of Experience in ‘Managing Change’
What’s in it for me?
Journeying to your seeking state always brings change. This is not an easy, smooth transition from caterpillar to butterfly. It is complex, emotional and can lead to painful, difficult decisions. To manage this process, everyone needs to understand the benefits of what’s in it for them. What’s the positive impact in my role?
Working on change programmes, from the University of Westminster to Glyndebourne, from the Royal Academy to Nationalmuseum Sweden, we know that things can go wrong when communications fail and staff do not understand how the process will benefit them in the long~term, when feedback is not listened to and overall there is a lack of urgency to maintain the momentum.
Leadership and Grass Roots Action
Successful change happens when there is both commitment from the top with a clear vision from leadership and at the same time an empowered staff to deliver Grass~Roots Action. As Obama succinctly puts it, the ability to drive change lies in being “pre-disposed to see the power in other people”.
Working with the Galway International Arts Festival, Ireland, we helped shape their map for the future and ambition to be the Festival of Extraordinary Experiences. A critical question is always: what next? How do we get there? On a journey of staff engagement, we realised that change would not happen without step change at Board level. With the Chief Executive, we worked together to ensure that the ground would be ready for a change process to take root, exploring their structure and resources, planning and processes.
Persistence and Tenacity
Change is not an event. It’s a process. It takes time for small steps and small changes to grow incrementally into systemic and far~ranging impact. We know from experience, that it’s easy to lose heart along the way. You either bite off more than is possible, or the changes seem too small to celebrate. However, you need persistence, tenacity and good humour to see it through.
Glyndebourne, an International opera house in East Sussex, wanted to be out of the ordinary, but not everything they did was extraordinary. With support, they diligently thought through what needed to change which led to changes in culture and attitude, experience and identity.