Organisational change rarely follows a straightforward path. Whether it involves adopting new technologies, refining processes, managing projects, or navigating mergers and acquisitions, change often leads down unpredictable – and sometimes uncomfortable – routes. Skilful management of this uncertainty is crucial: change is inevitable for any organisation if it is to remain relevant and competitive.
Inspired by award winners, we have selected some change management best practices from around the world that show how it is possible to manage the transition to change by creating a commitment to improvement and an environment for empowerment.
Best Practice No. 1: The Rapid Transformation of an Organisation: The Case of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) Barcelona School of Management – Spain
This best practice describes the accelerated transformation of the UPF Barcelona School of Management in Spain. The School was a 6-Star Award Recipient at the International Best Practice Competition (IBPC) 2023, and Winner of the IBPC Category – Change Management.
In 2019, the UPF Barcelona School of Management realised that change was needed if it was to keep pace with the disruptive landscape of the higher education industry, address the numerous challenges it was facing, and secure a place at the top end of the global rankings. Following a people-centred approach, the School’s change process consisted of forming 19 Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) during a 90-day transformation programme (in three 30-day phases) to identify challenges, develop solutions, and get sign-off on an action plan (see Figure 1). The RRTs were interdisciplinary teams, and included people from several departments as well as various key influencers from the School to help avoid change resistance. These RRTs usually favour an inclusive approach, comprise between three and seven people, and turn reluctant participants into drivers of change by making them an integral part of the process. After 90 days, the solutions had moved to the implementation stage. Among the changes successfully implemented by the School were the alignment of its mission and strategy with those of the university; the simplification of its governance approach and the participation of student voices in all governance bodies; the simplification of the code of ethics; improved communication with students thanks to the development of a student virtual space; the development of innovative teaching programmes and initiatives; the establishment of an International Advisory Council; the design of a programme to improve the student journey; and, the creation of a plan to improve the School’s research culture. By December 2022, of the 456 innovative solutions approved, all had been implemented, with the exception of a few that were still ongoing (such as measures to increase the gender and international diversity of faculty and the development of new online programmes). The massive transformation program was based on the Behnam Tabrizi Methodology.
The change management programme has had a positive impact on all stakeholders, leading to improved results across all key indicators and an improved reputation for the School. For example, journal publications increased from 11 in the 2018-2019 academic year to 61 in 2021-2022; at the same time, the number of industry-funded chairs rose from 1 to 11. As a direct result of this transformation, the UPF-Barcelona School of Management received two of the three main international quality accreditations for business schools: AMBA (in December 2020) and EQUIS (in April 2022). In December 2022, the School formally initiated the process to achieve the third accreditation: AACSB. When this is received, the UPF-Barcelona School of Management will be among a prestigious group: only the top 1% of business schools worldwide have obtained this triple-crown of accreditations.
Best Practice 2: Investigation of Micro-Trafficking (MT0), Policía de Investigaciones de Chile (PDI) – Chile
This best practice describes the law enforcement response to the micro-trafficking of illegal drugs by the Policía de Investigaciones de Chile (PDI), Chile. The organisation was a 6-Star Award Recipient at the International Best Practice Competition (IBPC) 2023.
Launched by the Chilean government in 2014 amid concerns over the increased consumption of illegal drugs, the programme aimed to significantly reduce the organised micro-trafficking of narcotics by targeting low-quantity sales at the street level in those communities most vulnerable to micro-trafficking and related violence. In this way, there would be an increased sense of security in neighbourhoods and communities throughout Chile (see Figure 2). This change initiative has been deployed in 74 municipalities across the country. The MT0 programme included allies from across sectors at the local level, including key organisations such as neighbourhood councils, education centres, the Children’s Rights Protection Office, regional government, and health centres. All of these various bodies came together at Community Security Councils, which were set up to diagnose and plan public security strategies. The programme resulted in a 25% reduction in the number of drug selling points across the 74 municipalities: there was a significant increase in the quantities of narcotics seized (a total of 4,788 kg between 2015-2022), and 24,025 offenders were arrested during the same period. With an 85% public approval rating from the 2023 National Public Opinion Survey, the MT0 programme has significantly strengthened the reputation of the PDI as a specialist, and socially reliable, investigative police agency.
Best Practice 3: Enterprise Business Architecture, Ontario Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery (MPBSD) – Canada
The Ontario Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery was a 5-Star Award Recipient at the International Best Practice Competition (IBPC) 2023. Its best practice describes the Business Architecture and the Operations Guide, which were used as the authoritative documents within Enterprise Technology Strategy (ETS), a new division of Government Information Technology Ontario (GovTechON) formed in 2021. The Business Architecture and the Operations Guide were developed as the foundation of the ETS structure and represent the efficient transition of a subdivision within an organisation (see Figure 3). The Business Architecture and Operations Guide documents have mapped out all key processes and provide the context and detailed processes that allow ETS staff to perform their work in a consistent and standardised manner, leading to organisational success, and is an important source to inform stakeholders for efficient interactions with ETS.
Best Practice 4: Change Management (Change Enablement) Process, Dubai Municipality – UAE
This best practice, a 4-Star Award Recipient at the International Best Practice Competition (IBPC) 2023, describes Dubai Municipality’s ITSM (IT Service Management) change management process, which was designed to control changes to IT systems and services, and ensure they are implemented efficiently and effectively, with minimal disruption to the business (see Figure 4). The scope of the practice includes any changes to IT systems or services, including hardware, software, and network infrastructure. The practice also covers any changes to IT policies, procedures, and documentation. Some of the benefits of the ITSM change management process include increased employee motivation and satisfaction, as they are involved in the change process and its implementation; greater productivity, as employees are better equipped to adapt to change; and, reduced costs associated with errors or mistakes that may result from poorly managed change.
Best Practice 5: The Application of the EFQM Model at VAMED-KMB, Krankenhausmanagement und Betriebsführungsges.M.B.H. – Austria
Here is a great example of change management being applied organisation-wide through the EFQM Model. VAMED was the EFQM Global Award 2022 Winner – 7 Diamonds at the EFQM Excellence Award 2022.
Founded in 1982, VAMED-KMB is a global provider for hospitals and other facilities in the healthcare sector. The EFQM Model has consistently accompanied the development of VAMED for almost 20 years – to improve its performance and transform the organisation for a successful future. The Model helped the organisation to define and review its purpose and vision. VAMED’s strategic direction reflects the main logic of the EFQM Model, which is to provide direction, support the execution, and continuously achieve the desired results. The EFQM Model helps VAMED to manage various challenges while, at the same time, take advantage of opportunities that are presented. For example, the Model played a significant role in the continuous improvement and modernisation of the University Hospital Vienna, while at the same time enabling it to continue with its ongoing operations and guarantee uninterrupted coverage for its patients.
You can obtain further information about the content featured in this blog by following the links to the BPIR.com website. Membership of BPIR.com is available at https://www.bpir.com/join-now. This blog is part of a larger report entitled “Best Practice Brief, Issue 1: Change Management”, which is available from the member’s area of BPIR.com.
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