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Nigel Batty


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Interim thoughts: How to bring about change using interim managers

by Nigel Batty on 06 Feb 2017

A FTSE100 change management director reflects on three years of involvement in a complex, global shared services programme.

Talking with my peers, I hear among the war stories some very different experiences of working with interim managers. These range from the sublime to the disastrous. This is my personal view of the benefits and critical success factors, based on my experience of leading the establishment of a global change management team over three years.

To set the scene, I was working in a global FMCG business with more than 150,000 employees and an ambitious growth agenda. The business had a strong track record of driving transformation, having implemented SAP and outsourced significant elements of its back-office services. In 2010, the business took a step change decision to create an integrated group organisation covering all aspects of global employee services; everything from recruitment to room booking, from IT to invoice management.

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change management - MAKING CHANGE STICK

by Nigel Batty on 01 Apr 2016

It's one thing to deliver a successful change programme but quite another to ensure it is properly embedded. How do the experts ensure that the benefits promised at the initiation of a project are actually delivered over the long term?

We've all been there – the dog days of a great project.

The team has really come together and delivered. Processes designed, organisation re-aligned, users trained, milestones met and everybody is ready for go-live. One more heave and we'll have it over the line. A few weeks of stabilisation will take care of the snagging, followed by the mother of all parties and we can all get back to normal...

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THE CULTURAL CONUNDRUM FOR CHANGE MANAGERS

by Nigel Batty on 18 Mar 2015

If we accept that the human reaction to an imposed change is shaped by culture as much as by experience, then it follows that any approach to managing change needs to be adapted to take account of the prevailing organisational culture. Sounds obvious and straight forward?  In theory, possibly; in practice, rarely!

First, let's establish what 'organisational culture' means in this context?

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GREAT CHANGE MANAGEMENT - WHEN TO PLAY TIGHT AND WHEN TO PLAY LOOSE?

by Nigel Batty on 02 Dec 2014

Visit the Business section of any major bookshop and you will find a yard and a half of change management text books. Each setting out the authors 'Framework for Change', proffered as THE systematic and step by step guide to effective delivery of business transformation.

Equally every major consultancy or project management qualification will offer its 'own-brand' methodology as a USP for their services.

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CHANGE MANAGEMENT? THAT’S JUST COMMUNICATION – RIGHT?

by Nigel Batty on 24 Sep 2014

There is a school of thought, largely found amongst those who see managing change as just another part of a line manager's portfolio of responsibilities, that if the change is communicated clearly enough, the change is being managed.

At one end of this spectrum are the command and control types who rely on the 'Just Do It' email from the top. Assuming that the combination of a hierarchic 'Shock and Awe' effect coupled with the threat of dire consequences for non-compliance will do the trick.

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LEADING CHANGE FROM THE MIDDLE

by Nigel Batty on 02 Jul 2014

Driving successful change demands active engagement and change leadership at every level of the business. In my experience, technology led projects and programmes are quick to develop clear strategies for engaging the top of the organisation as leaders and equipping the bottom of the organisation to work in a new way. Too often, there is a blind spot for one of the most critical stakeholder groups in any organisation – the middle managers.

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ARE YOU THE CONDUCTOR OF THE CHANGE ORCHESTRA OR A ONE MAN BAND?

by Nigel Batty on 23 Apr 2014

In my experience of working in technology led change projects, it is often the case that the business (and sometimes the rest of the project team) see the Change Management as either the 'fluffy stuff' or as the "Department of Dark Arts".

In either case, this has the effect of positioning change management as semi-detached from the technical or process-led mainstream of the change with separate and perhaps less rigorous planning and reporting expectations.

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GETTING “THE VISION THING” RIGHT

by Nigel Batty on 13 Mar 2014

Over the next months, Business change expert Nigel Batty explores the challenges organisations face when leading change management, drawing on his own vast experience in the field and including insight gathered from his peers in a series of discussions on the "BIE - Leaders in Transformation" Group on LinkedIn. He starts at the beginning with "The Vision Thing".

How often do we see an energetic, highly capable and well-meaning change project leader at the helm of a poorly defined project take the team away for a dynamic kick-off event, at the heart of which is an exercise for the project team to create "The Project Vision". The activity is creative and highly engaging for the team; the outcome is a suitably pithy and motivational expression of what the project team believes that it will deliver.

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