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Using Research to Improve the Delivery
and Effectiveness of Change
Programmes & Projects
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Part 1: Setting the Scene : Jim Dale
Pressures and Pace of Change
The pressures for change are unrelenting and all
organisations are in at state of flux as they
respond to technological
pressures, government policy and the economic
downturn (CIPD, 2013).
What is the failure rate when
delivering organisational change?
60% and higher
The answer is D
60 % and higher!
Beer & Nohria, 2000
Balogun & Hope Hailey, 2004
Gaius Petronius Arbiter
It appears to have been ever thus….
“We tend to meet any new situation by reorganising. And what a wonderful method it
can be for creating the illusion of progress while
producing confusion, inefficiency and
The Satyricon, Ist Century AD
Achieving Change is NOT easy
“It must be remembered that there is
nothing more difficult to carry out, more
doubtful of success, nor more dangerous
to handle, than to initiate a new order of
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 – 1527)
Extract from ‘The Prince’
“Alarmingly and despite the warnings
and lessons learned, up to 80% of all
changes fail to deliver the planned
Office of Government Commerce (OGC), 2005
and attention to
issues is a recurring
finding from the UK
“Change is often viewed as something
to be overcome, controlled and a
disruption to this known world, rather
than the new ‘norm’ that needs to be
My own on-going doctoral
1:1 Semi Structured Interviews / Focus Groups
Survey: Self completed questionnaire
Action orientated Research with an ongoing Strategic Alliance Programme
A snapshot of comments
• “Success and failure is not absolute”
• “We don’t use the term failure but most change
programmes achieve a sub optimal outcome”
• “All our projects are doomed to succeed. We can
implement new systems but nothing changes”
• “I am struggling to think of a successful change
• “Even the successful initiatives contain huge areas for
• “Given our track record, employees have every right
to be sceptical and suspicious”.
1 of 3
• Poor research. Many change models and
frameworks appear flawed or have no
• Out dated research: We still use and rely
on research undertaken in a different era.
• Knowledge about the discipline of change
management matters appears ‘sketchy’
within the PM community.
• There is no common agreement on what
works and what does not.
2 of 3
• Too many senior managers consciously
or sub-consciously subscribe to
Morgan’s (1997)metaphor of
organisations acting as machines.
• Real life pressures often result in good
theory and practice being jettisoned
(The hypocrisy of change
3 of 3
• Folklore and current thinking needs
to be challenged. Is change always
resisted and does a desire to create
strategies to overcome resistance
create an appropriate mind-set?
• Managers continually under-estimate
the costs, time and challenges
involved in delivering effective
We need your help…..
Please complete the Major Change Survey
available on-line at:
Balogun, J., and Hope Hailey, V. (2004) Exploring Strategic Change. (2nd ed.).
London: Prentice Hall.
Beer, M., and Nohria, N. (2000) Cracking the Code of Change. Harvard Business
Review, 78:3, 133-143.
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. (2013) Factsheet: Change
Management. London: CIPD.
Change Management Institute (2012) Organisational Change Management
Maturity: 1-20. Available: http://bit.ly/16Xssak
Institute of Directors (2012) Leadership. London: IoD.
Morgan, G. (1997) Images of Organization. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Office of Government Commerce. (2005) Business Benefits through Programme
and Project Management. Norwich: TSO.
Office of Government Commerce (2008) The Eleven Gateway Lessons. Norwich: