The fundamental building blocks of strategic change

Planning to kick off a change programme? Excited yet concerned about the prospect of the challenge? You’re right to be cautious.

Many still remember the opening of British Airway’s Terminal 5 and its teething problems. The terminal itself had been built well and it was ready for use, but staff was ill-prepared, processes were not fully understood and the risk of human error was underestimated. In short, the business wasn’t ready. There was a lack of buy-in from important stakeholders and in the face of adversity, communication broke down.

This paper outlines the fundamental building blocks that we know to be key to the successful delivery of change initiatives of any scale. Some come from more traditional project and programme management methodologies and focus on the hard and practical elements of programme delivery, while others focus on the softer issues, emphasising the importance of the people involved and the programme’s overall benefits – areas that, surprisingly, are often neglected. 

What are the key building blocks of strategic change? 

The key building blocks that are required for the successful delivery of change programmes fall into four categories: what, why, who and how. Elements of each can be found throughout all phases of the delivery process and for a change programme to succeed, they must all be considered.