Complex Change Programme? You need Brave HR!

Complex Change Programme? You need Brave HR!

I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some really talented HR teams during my career. (You know who you are and you are brilliant!)

These Teams have gone on to deliver ground breaking change programmes and build high performing cultures. Complex change doesn’t befit every HR Pro, so what does a good HR Change Team look like? I can’t share all my tips in this short post but I can give you a few pointers to chew over.

Individuals most suited to managing change display a high level of resilience that’ll get them through what can be some pretty stressful situations at times. Pluckiness is mixed with a hefty measure of commercial and strategic nowse, drive, tenacity and an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of their subject matter. They also know how to relax and unwind.

These people openly display that they love their job, are aligned to the direction of the business and aren’t phased when facing difficult decisions or making the right choices to improve the business. Up to date on technological advances, they are also expert communicators, adaptable and willing to be thrown in at the deep end from time to time.

A rare combination? Trust me. They are out there!

If you are a CEO or an HRD and you are about to embark on a change programme, why not begin by asking yourself some simple questions:

  • Will the structure of my current function support and embed the changes?
  • How will I achieve a balance of specialist and generalist HR?
  • Are the current team up to the job? What new skills are required?
  • How does the HR team need to support line managers in the new world?
  • How can HR technology improve their efficiency?

The requirements for your team depends on the individual circumstances of the organisation, the complexity of your plans, whether the business is in growth or turnaround and the legislation environment it operates in…..but it’s also really crucial that your HR team thoroughly understands your business, intricately.

I place great emphasis on my Teams knowing how the business serves it’s customers and having an in-depth knowledge of internal processes.

That way we can facilitate a disciplined method of considering how the planned changes will affect, for example, workflow design, IT, motivation and measurement, policies and rules, people, resources and facilities

When managing change employ a talented and knowledgeable HR team who are gatekeepers of a certain set of core business values, can quickly gain credibility, are adept at seeing where problems may arise before they actually do and are strong enough to question senior managers’ decisions. Including yours!

In 1532, a bloke named Machiaveli wrote “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

It’s still true today, so if you are about to embark on change, do yourself a favour and ensure your HR Team have the right skills to support you. Contact me for more tips on how to develop your HR team.


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Ruth is an expert in Organisational Development and Change Management and is passionate about sharing her wisdom and the lessons that she has learned with your business.​


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