Change teams prove risky

Setting up teams to manage organisational change is a practice fraught with risks, says independent management consultant David Jorden.

He said change teams could be beneficial in terms of results and morale but could also backfire.

“The assigned group can often degenerate over time to an inconsequential get-together where nothing gets done, while the organisation deprives itself of valuable and expensive resources,” Mr Jorden said.

“The group can become disillusioned if its recommendations are not seriously considered or implemented.

“If the group is misdirected, discussions can drift away from core issues. If the participants are chosen in an

ineffective manner, there is a risk of driving a wedge between management and employees.”

Mr Jorden said companies that planned to set up a change team to foster workplace innovation should employ a number of fundamental principles to do the concept justice.

“The organisation needs to be mature,” he said.

“The team must have direct access and accountability to the senior position within the company or division.”

He said it had to be clearly communicated to team members that ideas might not always get implemented.

“Further, one person needs to be an appointed leader. The best solution is an external individual not involved in the internal politics. However, that is usually an expensive option,” he said.

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