Managing Change

September 26th, 2010 by Jan Kuttelwascher

This is a short paper on the effectiveness of the Public Service Department‘s process to develop a waste strategy.

I base the analysis on a methodology proposed by ISB Worldwide. This is a management consultancy based on the work of John Kotter author of Our Iceberg is Melting. ISB has had many multinational clients including AT&T, Proctor & Gamble and Rolls Royce.

Eight steps are proposed to effect successful change:

1. Increase Urgency

2. Build a Guiding Team

3. Get The Vision Right

4. Communicate for Buy-in

5. Empower Action

6. Create Short-Term Wins

7. Don’t Let Up

8. Make Change Stick

Where does the Public Services Department (PSD) stand in relation to these eight steps?

1. Going down the path of yet another consultation (Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO)) is the opposite of what is required.

2. Several members of PSD were strongly opposed to the rejection of the Suez proposals. I believe that the whole political board needs to be enthusiastic about effecting change. This is not the case and the “Guiding Team” is therefore hampered.

3. I do not believe that “The Vision” has even been considered. What is it?

4. Communication has been a problem. Communication has been reactive to the demands of both the public and some Deputies. PSD need to take the Public with them and, to date, they have failed.

5. Who is empowered to take action? Who is willing to take action? We are currently following a risk averse path leading to where?

6. Instead of creating some “Short-Term Wins”, PSD has put on hold possible improvements to bring banks and positive action to increase our re-cycling rates to 50% by the end of this year. They have gone in the opposite direction.

7. Since PSD have yet to start they have some way to go before they need to satisfy this step.

8. There is no evidence of any attempt to change and, therefore, nothing to “Stick”.

At a recent presentation to the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce, Paul Rigby, a representative of ISB Worldwide said that 70% of attempts by companies to effect change failed.

He also said that what is required is more leadership and less management.

The current BPEO process was put forward by Management (staff) and adopted by The Leadership (political board).

This is the wrong way round. The Political Board needs to lead this process. It must take the lead in what is their responsibility: making policy and defining strategy.

Finally: why is this process a process to effect change? To date we have had Lurgi and Suez. Both have failed at considerable cost. We need a change of mindset and strong, effective leadership.

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