Addressing resistance to change

I recently circulated John Beckford’s blog  challenging some of the ways in which organisations delay or avoid necessary changes.  I got positive feedback from several people but also this comment: “I think much more management consultancy needs to attend to delivery and some of the deeper resistances that lie within any one of us. The how-to seems critical”.  As I said to my correspondent at the time, that gives me a clear steer on the subject for my next blog.  Here is a link to John’s blog – I see my response to my reader’s comments very much as a companion piece: https://intelligentorganisation.com/uncategorised/toddler-steps-change-management/

So, for this blog we will assume that the organisational leadership has recognised the need to make a significant change but feels concern about the extent to which such a project will be supported or meet resistance from individuals and groups in the organisation, including, perhaps, those in leadership at the next level down in the hierarchy.  How should those leading change proceed? Continue reading

What the NHS really needs

A report in today’s FT suggests that the savings from the government’s latest NHS reorganisation will be quite a lot lower than promised.  That does not come as a great surprise.  Every NHS restructure is costly and time-consuming.  As they happen every few years it means, as one senior manager told me, that as soon as the new organisations it creates are mature and actually achieving something they are abolished in favour of a different configuration.  And back to square one we go.

It is not that the current changes and the many previous ones do not make some sense or have not contributed to some improvements.  My experience is that NHS Trusts are far more focused on efficiency, for example, than they once were and the separation of commissioning (Primary Care Trusts at the moment) and provider functions (hospitals, community health staff and so forth) may have helped to achieve that.

But restructuring never delivers what is promised because it cannot.  Continue reading