Sector Specific Questions vs Situation Specific Questions

by Stephen Warrilow

"Would it be ok if I sent you a few questions that I can use in my research...?

Thanks Stephen, here are the questions:

1. What are some of the major drivers of change for social agencies / non profits today? Are they different from other business organisations?

2. In your experience, how are many of them coping with the need to change and the change process?

3. Before embarking on a change process, do you find that there is an attempt at diagnosing / analysing the situation to see what is needed?

4. What is the role of systematic diagnosis in organisations?

5. What are the differences (if any) in outcomes and change implementation for those agencies that perform some form of diagnosis and those that don?t?

6. Considering that social agencies will not have a lot of time, money and sometimes, expertise to perform a diagnostic analysis, what methods can be used that can bring with it the benefits of diagnosis and analysis but will be simple enough to implement by a social agency?

This type of "sector specific" question frequently gets asked.

I don't have any sector specific information I'm afraid - only the overview I get from people all over the globe who communicate with me - some of whom are in not for profits - and at that level there doesn't appear to be any marked difference in their behaviour re use of a diagnostic process (or not) than in any other sector.

The factors that are ALWAYS more significant are SITUATIONAL and are NOT sector specific.

So, systematic diagnosis is key to any change intiative regardless of industry or sector.

I could simply suggest that you sign up for the Free 8 Introductory Lessons and then suggest that you invest in the Practitioners Masterclass as this will explain it all very thoroughly...:-)

However the 3 priority areas that ALWAYS require thorough analysis and diagnosis BEFORE initiating any significant change are as follows:

(1) Assessing the change legacy i.e. "what's our track record in this organisation on instigating, implementing and realising the envisaged benefits of past change initiatives".

Technically this is called a "Change Readiness Assessment". This matters because what has happened before will heavily influence any new initiative....

(2) Pay close attention to the cultural implications - as this is the single biggest determinant of how people will behave.

First step is some form of simple cultural analysis looking at now and the new state. This (as with all of this stuff on the business of successful change leadership and management) is a big subject with many interdependent - even multi-dimensional - aspects.

A good place to start is the following pages and the associated links and resources shown on each page:

Organisational Culture

Pre-Programme Planning

(3) Having completed the steps outlined in (1) and (2) I would build my approach on the following questions:

# How am I going to manage all this so that it happens and I succeed?

# How's it going to be different when I've made the change?

# Why am I doing this - how's it going to benefit me?
How will I know it's benefited me?

# Who's it going to affect and how will they react?

# What can I do to get them "on side"?

# What are the risks and issues that I'll have to face?

# What steps do I have to take to make the changes and get the benefit?

If I had to sum it all up - I would simply say focus research/diagnosis/analysis on the people-side throughout and build and create processes that work for people (sounds clichéd - but often overlooked and very true!).

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