The power of early insights

The ability to track and measure behavioural change is often overlooked, as a key factor impacting transformation benefits.

The ability to track and measure behavioural change is often overlooked, as a key factor impacting transformation benefits.

By Terah Enoch, Handpicked Society member

Your programme team have painstakingly nailed the success criteria. The financial model and benefits are agreed and target measures have been set. BUT, a few months into implementation, the financial and customer measures haven’t moved …why???

When implementing transformational change, many factors impact benefits realisation. In my experience, one important factor is often overlooked. That is, the ability to track and measure behavioural change. So, how can you give more attention to this important factor. Here’s my thoughts: 

1.    Mindset

Creating a desire to change is tough and takes time. Surveys, focus groups, 1-1s are great opportunities to assess whether people have the right things in place in relation to mindset to start to shift behaviour. I really like the Influence Model – which focuses on 4 key elements – (1) understanding the rationale, (2) having role models in place, (3) having the right skills/ability to change and (4) having reinforcement mechanisms aligned to new ways of working.  I’ve structured questionnaires around these elements to gather insight on the strength of each element to identify which areas need more focus.

2.    Ways of working

What will you see teams doing as they start to adopt the changes and how might you monitor and track these behaviours? For changes involving technology – what data can be taken from the system that will give you insight into how people are working?  For example, implementing a new workflow management tool gives you a great opportunity to look at the way in which work is moving between teams at different points in the process. 

3.    Measurement variety 

Use a mixture of both subjective and objective measures. For example, people’s perception of a change could be useful alongside observable behaviours, like adoption of new procedures, giving you a much more holistic view of adoption. Over reliance on surveys is common and will lead to fatigue. Using a variety of techniques will give richer data. Consider focus groups, observation sessions, generating online conversations via social media, or simply conversations or visiting an office and sitting in a team during the implementation phase.

It’s possible to effectively measure and track change adoption early in a programme

4.    Ask

Stakeholders will have a view on how you might go about measuring how things are going in relation to specific changes.  They will have great ideas and it’s an opportunity to involve them in developing part of your change approach.

5.    Act

Review how things are going at regular points. Some measures can be tracked more frequently than others. System or auto generated data could be captured and reviewed frequently without significant effort. The more regularly the data gathering, the more opportunity to act on the findings. Identifying problems early and addressing them is far more effective and cost efficient than finding a problem at the end.  It may be that people need more coaching and support to work in the new way or that leaders need to increase reinforcement activity in some areas.

6.    Share insights

Success stories and real examples are a great opportunity to reinforce new ways of working. They can also help address issues or provide guidance for those who are struggling or resisting.  Good news stories are a great way to demonstrate progress and increase momentum.

Whether expected benefits are achieved, is often reliant on behavioural change. As I’ve shown above, it’s possible to effectively measure and track change adoption early in a programme. It requires forethought, experience, measurement expertise and acting on your findings. I hope you found the points above helpful. It would be great to hear your thoughts and own experiences.

Terah Enoch, Handpicked Society member

Terah Enoch, Handpicked Society member with his family

Terah Enoch, Handpicked Society member with his family

Terah is an expert in Change Management & Organisation Development, Qualified Business Psychologist and Accredited Coach, with 13 years experience working in large complex organisations. He has a successful track record of delivering business benefits through design and delivery of Change and Organisation Development initiatives.

His extensive qualifications include MSc Occupational Psychology, BSc (Hons) Psychology, British Psychological Society (BPS) Certificates of Competence in Occupational Testing.

Terah has used his skills helping a diverse set of clients, include the Metropolitan Police, BT, Openreach, University College London and AstraZeneca, with Handpicked Society.

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