Successful change management & organisational development

Since 1965 Coverdale has been working with organisations all over the world. We have built the reputation and experience to enable sustainable improvements in organisational capability, change management and organisational development.

We believe that quick-fixes and flavours of the month rarely work. That is why we rely on tried and tested methods founded on sound principles.

Making the implementation of change successful and getting the buy in and commitment of your people can be a real challenge so it is important that the change management process is rigorously thought through and planned, and more importantly implemented effectively.

Below you will see two diagrams. One shows the Coverdale Approach to Change and the other Coverdale’s Change Model.

Coverdales approach to change management

model-for change-management

It is this rigorous approach to change management and our experience that spans almost 50 years that accounts for our high success rate in the field of change and organisational development.

Why is this important? Well, it has been identified that 85% of change programmes fail. This is a terrifying figure and many CEOs and OD practitioners have asked us what they should do to give them the best possible chance of success. In order to ensure success it is vital that certain things are managed really well. We have identified 6 areas that are critical to success and therefore should be monitored and managed really closely. These CSFs should be reported on regularly at senior management meetings.

These Critical Change Management Success Factors are:

Commitment from the top

First of all it is important that the top team recognise the need for change. Without this then any initiative is doomed to failure. Secondly they must then develop a clear vision of what they want to achieve and be able to create a compelling case for it that they are all committed to. Change normally involves people changing (although this is often overlooked), either in the way they work or in the way they behave. So one way the tope team can show their commitment is by modelling and new behaviour. It is much easier to show lack of commitment by failing to set the right model, by the way!

Input and contribution from the workforce

Input=commitment is a principle of employee engagement, so the more the workforce can contribute to the proposed change the better. It is also true that the earlier they are engaged the more likely they are to be committed – although this is not always possible. Input can be in many forms, for example, steering groups, working parties, regular consultation sessions.

Milestones and measures

What gets measured gets done, so it is important to set very clear measures for success and also milestones so that progress can be monitored against plan. Measures will normally involve improvement in business results (otherwise why do it) but they should also include some form of measure of behaviour change. This is often dismissed as being too difficult but it should not stop you. Measure what is right, not what is easy.


Communication is something all organisations talk about and most employees on organisations will tell you it is a problem. Without clear, consistent and constant communication, there will be a vacuum that will be filled quickly – by rumour, speculation and conjecture – none of it good. A newsletter is not the same as communicating properly by the way. There is a need for a clear communication strategy that takes account of purpose and all stakeholders – their needs, their aspirations and fears. And remember, modelling behaviour is one of the most powerful forms of communication. You will be judged on what you do, not what you say.

Skill development

Don’t expect people to change if they don’t have the right skills to do the job or to operate in a certain way. There is a need for appropriate technical training and in most cases behavioural and cultural training too. Too often there is an expectation that people can start doing something differently when they have being doing it one way for decades. They need help and support.

On-site support

Often, all of the above CSFs have been ticked. The top team is leading the change, there is a clear vision, plans and measures in place, everyone is engaged and knows what is going on, specialist training courses have been rolled out across the organisation, and yet…everything stalls. Why? When people return to work from courses they are fired up and determined to implement what they have learned. But when the pressure is on, or when the customer is demanding, or your manager is pushing for results, the numbers are down… what happens? You head for your comfort zone, do what you know works, do things the way you have always done them, behave the way that got you where you are. People need support during tomes of change. This support can come from their managers (they will need help so they know how to do this), from change champions, from coaches or mentors or form their peers. Whatever mechanism is chosen the top team has to create an environment where this can happen, otherwise…

Coverdale can provide a wide range of tailor made organisational development services to meet the specific needs of your organisation. We can help at both the development and the implementation stages ensuring clarity and then delivery of change which is sustainable because the leadership is committed and the workforce is fully engaged and has the capability and confidence to be able to ensure success.

Coverdale change management – Making business better

For more information on our change management, organisational development services and how we could assist your company please contact us

Visit our main change management and organisation development website here