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Activity title

Strategic Management and Organizational Change

Activity Reference

SAS-ET-DY

Panel

System Analysis and Studies

Security Classification

PUBLIC RELEASE

Status

Active

Activity type

ET

Start date

2018

End date

2019

Keywords

Organization Development and Change, Strategy Implementation I, Transformation

Background

In the current turbulent times, change and transformation are the new normal. In industry, learning to adapt quickly is often perceived as a prerequisite for survival. However, the brutal fact that for more than three decades authors have repeatedly reported that about 70% of change initiatives fail, clearly demonstrates that additional knowledge and guidelines are needed to support organizations to boost their change success rates. Even Kotter, recently acknowledge that the current world is changing too fast to build change success on his famous eight step approach. For this purpose, Boers, De Prins, Letens & Verweire developed a change framework of six batteries of change (Cohesive Top Team, Clear Strategic Direction, Powerful Management Infrastructure, Healthy Culture, Action Planning & Implementation, Connection to Employees – see appendix) that are essential to charge an organization’s change capabilities. The framework brings together the expertise of specialists that all have developed different insights related to change over many years of study and practice. The model has been iteratively refined through an extensive review of the literature on organization development and change, field research with change agents and CEOs of several organizations, and last but not least, empirical research that linked the energy levels of more than 100 companies to a coherent set of change success criteria’s. Findings of this study revealed that whereas 70% of the change programs of companies that charged less than two batteries failed, 95% of the organizations that charged five or six batteries considered their change program a success. Based on their findings of their research, De Prins, Letens & Verweire clarified the typical change energy gainers and drainers found in organizations and proposed typical instruments used by best practice companies that can help organizations to overcome some of their change pitfalls. Further they identified a number of pathologies behind the common energy profiles. This allows organizations to develop a change approach that fits their specific context in order to dramatically increase their change success rates.

Objectives

Whereas the Six batteries model and questionnaire have been developed with a focus on industry Business Units, primary test results of its application within the military have demonstrated its potential in this context as well. The objective of this research is to test the new model within the context of the transformations in military organizations. This implies adapting the questionnaire to reflect the context of military change initiatives at both the corporate and unit level. This will allow the assessment of various types of initiatives across nations, in order to collect benchmarking information that supports identifying military best practices of change management for each of the six batteries of change. This will also result in a list of typical energy gainers and drainers within military organizations that either facilitate or inhibit change. The questionnaire and benchmarking information will increase the awareness of military change leaders with regard to potential pitfalls due to the specific context of their change ambitions, allowing them to develop an approach that can systematically increase the change capabilities of their organization, and as a result, the likelihood of change success. This also includes the definition of roles and responsibilities for change leaders at various organizational levels and its consequences for the development of change leaders.

Topics

• Case studies of successful and failed military transformations at the strategic and tactical level • Questionnaire to assess the batteries of change within military organizations • Change Benchmarking database from military organizations • List of typical change energy drainers and energy gainers within military organizations • Tools and interventions that support the development of change capabilities • Implications for the development of organizational change leaders • Identification of various change and transformation programs (e.g. scale, objectives, impact) and definition of the scope of change initiatives to be investigated

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