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Traditional change management initiatives often fail to achieve a return to the bottom line because they are detached from the realities we face when delivering change, especially in today’s environment.

Whether you’re introducing a new structure or system in one go (big bang), iteratively releasing product enhancements (e.g. Agile software methodology), moving to new ways of working (process, culture or team changes), nurturing new behaviours (intrapreneurship), or all of the above, it’s time to put the tired toolkits to one side and introduce change with more pull than push.

A new change movement has emerged

The start-up success stories we often hear about come from an environment of rapid experimentation, empathetic and relentless user interaction, and psychological safety to try new approaches. We have studied the key methods and techniques of successful change and agile working, understanding what enables it, how to emulate it, and how to achieve the rate and quality of return it can bring.

As we discuss change and agility, it is worth positioning the two primary uses of the term ‘agile’.

  1. Agile software methodology – delivering incremental product enhancements to a technological solution.
  2. Organisational agility – the ability to respond to ongoing change more fluidly and effectively (not necessarily dependent on technology).

In both scenarios, the change management theory and practice that organisations have attempted to apply has fallen short. Seventy per cent of change programmes fail, largely because this theory is based on conditions of a different time. We help organisations to revisit the topic of change, ditching the jargon, drawing on marketing skillsets, elements of design thinking, behavioural economics, and the neuroscience of organisational change to enable you to realise value and constructively disrupt the norm.

Introducing ChAgile®

At Gate One, we’ve established a blend of disciplines to make change feel different. Our approach is empathetic, considered and designed with the employee experience in mind. It can be thought of as a blank canvas, bordered by key principles and methods, but with no out-of-the-box (or cookie cutter) imposed rule book. Within this creative white space, we work with you to design, develop, test and evolve answers based on questions derived from co-creation and experimentation with those involved.

The guiding principles around ChAgile® are as follows.

1. Insight-driven

Using both quantitative and qualitative data – listen, look and feel what is unfolding in the organisation with empathy. What are the cultural nuances? What are the social proofs? What is the data telling us? What is not being said? Use this information to inform change decisions and experiments.

2. People-centric

Consider the employee experience first and foremost. How do we make the journey more consumable and constructively creative for those originating the change, and then outwardly for those adopting the change? Empathetic and experiential first; tools always come second. This principle also speaks to the inherent vulnerability that people often experience during change.

3. Co-create

Involve those who will be a part of the change on both sides. Co-creation inspires a breadth of insights, creates momentum and builds inclusivity. This also ensures we create what is right for this context, not what is ‘best practice’ on paper.

4. Minimum viable change (MVC)

The science of change shows us that big changes are often rejected. So instead, work with insight inspired MVCs, introducing and adjusting as needed to generate a kernel of momentum that can grow and build pace. Balance change at a global and local level by enabling informed experimentation via MVCs – then scaling at pace when results are positive.

5. Visualise

Too often, change lives in documents gathering cyber dust and not visually in our environment. By reducing the paper trail in a positive way, by letting go of documents and folders, we can bring the change to life. Working out loud, whether in the office or virtually, and by using the novelty of compelling imagery to make the process feel different and real.

Underpinning these principles is a framework of techniques and tools that can be drawn upon as needed to suit the environment. We work to deliver changes iteratively, turning ‘business as usual’ into ‘business as unusual’, with lasting constructs to sustain and evolve the differences, by coaching your team on how to carry these principles independently. This is ChAgile®.

Chris Quinn

At Gate One, we are change experts. Our team will equip you to drive culturally-aligned, innovative change programmes.