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Relationships & a shared narrative essential for employees to engage with change, finds CIPD

That’s what new research by the CIPD found after identifying the questions that OD, L&D and HR professionals must ask if they are to facilitate change effectively. The report, & lsquo;Landing transformational change’, launched today at the CIPD’s Organisation Development conference, highlights the need to dissect the change process all the way from the planning to the implementation stages, and makes new recommendations for action throughout. 

 The research was conducted in collaboration with the University of Bath, where Professors Veronica Hope Hailey and Julia Balogun identified three key aspects of change management to provide a framework for any organisation keen to develop their OD capability:

 How to plan change

When planning the change process, leaders need to look beyond typical issues such as & lsquo;resistance’ and scrutinise their organisation more closely to identify any deep-seated attitudes and behaviours that might be hindering change. Culture can then be aligned with strategy.

 How to build understanding of the need for change

OD, L&D and HR professionals must consider how to encourage more active participation, which is key for employees to embrace new ways of thinking, learning and behaving. Creating a narrative to represent a new culture leads to shared understanding, and can be supported by physical representations such as drawings, objects and prototypes

 How to manage and lead the change

Employees need to relate to their leaders before facing the challenges of transforming their values, attitudes and behaviours. This requires leaders to put these relationships at the heart of what they do, building employees’ trust by clearly demonstrating their own personal values of benevolence and integrity.

Ruth Stuart, Research Adviser for Learning and Development at CIPD, comments:

“We know that many organisations are starting to invest more in OD resources as we leave the brunt of the recession behind us. But, it appears there’s a gap between the latest thinking on change management and current practice that could hold these organisations back. With the increasingly unpredictable nature of the modern workplace, it’s becoming ever more important that existing models reflect current business realities, and this framework helps to plug the gap. ”


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