Don’t let the New Year’s resolutions fade: make lasting change in 2014


January is a time when, as we do in our personal lives, many business leaders look to the year ahead and make resolutions about changing their organisations for the better. These changes might relate to customers, products, staff, technology or culture, etc. But how many such ideas will even make it to the planning stage, let alone be implemented?

Equally, at this time of year the business media is awash with advice for organisations on where they need to concentrate in the months ahead, based on the commentator’s view or what is thought will become important or fashionable in the wider business world.

The critical thing when thinking about making changes at any time, however, is that organisations focus on what is right for them and can describe this in the following ways:

  1. The problem or opportunity they need / want to address and the benefits – both financial and non-financial – that they expect to see as a result.  In other words, WHY change in the first place?
  2. The key areas where some measurable shift in performance needs to happen in order to drive the benefits.  This describes HOW the change will be made.
  3. The specific things that will need to be worked on and delivered to make these shifts, ie the WHAT.
  4. The schedule for doing the work, ie WHO will deliver things and by WHEN.

These four ‘steps’ are linked.  However, many organisations make the mistake of cutting straight to Step 3, in the belief that they know in detail what ‘the solution’ is without being clear on what it is they are trying to achieve and why.  Typically, the initiative either then fizzles out (wasting time and money in the process!) or, even if completed, its true value to the organisation can’t really be gauged.

Steve Wade, a Cambridge based change management consultant, is currently running ‘healthchecks’ for local organisations who are keen to get clear on Step 1, ie understanding where they need to focus in order to get healthier in 2014, and to discuss in outline how they would go about it. 

This could then form a solid basis for doing further work to develop a robust and joined-up plan (Steps 2…4) for making it happen.

By using this four step approach there is a better chance that 2014’s New Year resolutions will not only be the right ones for the organisation but also that they have a greater likelihood of being put into practice.

Please contact Steve on 07931 373132 or email for more information.

Steve Wade is a Cambridge-based freelance project and programme manager with over 25 years’ experience of helping make change happen in a wide range of public and private sector organisations.  For more detail and to read previous articles related to change management please refer to Steve’s directory entry on the Cambridge Network website.

Steve Wade is a freelance Programme & Project Manager

Wade Management Services Ltd directory information