Dear Prime Minister…

first_img Comments are closed. Dear Prime Minister…On 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today HR and management consultants have had plenty of experience in drivingchange management in the past decade, both in the private and public sectors.Here, Lyn Bicker prepares a seven-point plan which she believes would havesaved Tony Blair a lot of heartacheIt’s hard, isn’t it, to get people on side when you’re trying to makesignificant change? Fresh from the challenges of major conflict, it seems asthough a Cabinet reshuffle and the creation of a ‘new’ department isn’t goingto win you more friends straight away. Number 10 is driving UK Plc through muchchange management at the moment, and if I were advising you as the leader of amajor organisation, I would be urging you to think carefully about thefollowing seven points: 1. Have a plan, a fall-back plan, and a contingency plan. It can’t have beenhelpful when Alan Milburn decided to go; the Lord Chancellor evidently waspretty decimated by his removal, and moving John Reid into health clearly wasn’tideal. Getting wedded to one plan can be persuasive and powerful, but having acouple more up your sleeve makes it all work so much more smoothly. 2. Get the succession planning sorted. Generally speaking, you need threecandidates for every job: the Crown Prince, the Also-Ran and the Wild Card.Chances are the Crown Prince will have other ideas, the Also-Ran will be CrownPrince for someone else; and the Wild Card? Well, there you have a challenge.But it is helpful to have a view, at least. 3. Set out the vision of the future. You clearly have a modernising agendafor the country’s system of justice – and some might say it is none too late.But so far, it is a bit hard to get behind it. Produce a major attraction thatwill pull people towards it. Remember the impact of Labour’s return to power in1997! 4. Influence key stakeholders in advance. I’m not part of the legal system,but I have worked with it a little, and I am well aware that the system, nevermind a few reformers, is pretty resistant to change. Tradition, history, thesheer importance of the judiciary and its administration, are not matters to becast aside lightly. It was inevitable that the law lords would be up in arms.What a shame that there aren’t more senior judges arguing for change, too. 5. Demonstrate the excellence of the person in charge. Sorry, but memoriesof the Dome and its myriad of problems will continue to dog the person you putin charge of it, Lord Falconer. His only credentials for his new job within UKplc seem to be his flat-sharing days with you. A more glowing reputation, and afew words about his success in making change work would have been helpful. 6. Make sure the people who should know what’s going to happen next doactually know about changes ahead. It is not helpful for stakeholders within UKPlc to hear leaked comments from Downing Street about the lack of claritysurrounding your plans for a new Department of Constitutional Affairs. Surelythese do not reflect your own views? Your staff need to know how to answertricky questions better. 7. Last but not least, I want to warn that change is never easy, even thoughit is so constant in modern life. There are four basic reactions to change:people who want to see out into the future, and get a good sense of wherethey’re going before they can sign up; people who value their history andachievements, and won’t throw them away unless you can prove to them that thenew way is better; people who love the idea of change, and want to be even morecreative and perhaps radical than you’ve been already; and people who, frankly,are fed up with all the discussion and simply want to get on and do what’snecessary. Play to all four of these reactions, and you are onto a winner. Wein the management consulting and HR arenas, both in the public and privatesectors, have had to drive through much change in recent years. If you would like to draw on our experience, we’re more than willing toimpart the lessons to you that we’ve learned. In the meantime we wish you goodluck! By Lyn Bicker, Managing director, TSO Consulting Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more