Churchill Consulting

How Design Thinking can achieve high impact change for your people

How Design Thinking can achieve high impact change for your people

  • Posted:
  • Category:Thought Leadership
  • Offering:change management
  • Industry:Project and Change Management

Getting change management right is critical to project success. Churchill’s Jessica Seares explains why taking a design thinking approach will deliver the collaboration and results you need.

When you are investing millions in a program for your organisation – such as to update a system or roll out a performance management program – what is often forgotten is that you are also taking your people on a journey of transformation.

Regardless of the project, its success is often just as reliant as the technical or operational change, as by how you consider and include your people throughout the process.

Managing the change effectively will de-risk your project and ensure the time, cost, and effort delivers value.

And there’s a whole heap of new change management techniques and tools to support you along the way.

The new breed of change management

Change management has evolved drastically over the past two decades. A decade ago, it was all about process templates and stakeholder spreadsheets.

Today, change management draws on behavioural science and new methods described more generally as Design Thinking.

Design Thinking brings together diverse voices to consider problems and design solutions, using tools like co-design, future visioning, lean canvas, customer empathy or journey mapping.

It’s an approach that brings groups of people together to ideate and problem solve, meaning from an organisational perspective they also reinforce core values like collaboration and inclusivity, even in the depths of program delivery.

When applied at the right time, these methods are getting proven results when it comes to delivering transformation on programs, and in a number of key ways.

They help deal with complexity and diversity

Design Thinking allows you to lean into the challenges of delivering highly complex programs, across diverse teams, geographical distances and even ‘broken’ projects.

Rather than taking a defend and deliver approach to engagement, Design Thinking will bring those diverse voices to the table, surface the key challenges and get alignment on what really matters for the program and organisation.

It creates a shared vision by allowing team members to co-contribute and hear each other’s perspective and build empathy.

We always advocate to start this work as early as possible on any program, but these sessions can be really valuable mid or even late in a program, when solutions are needed to complex or emerging problems.

They can hack speed and scale

Organisations are under increasing pressures – we hear about competing priorities and pressures within a business, often overlaid with the need for rapid program delivery to derive benefits.

Structured methods to effectively engage people on your program, increase your access points throughout the business, and seek insights to core problems and solutions. This allows for faster deployment and access to larger groups across an organisation.

Prototyping and testing concepts throughout your delivery process then allows you to test solutions while still moving, allowing you to adapt and de-risk your model.

Particularly important is how the right engagement will also help get the word on the street about what your program is doing, encouraging more people to contribute to the process, and gathering genuine and meaningful feedback.

They allow you to achieve high impact, robust engagement

Workshops and creative sessions are designed to be fun, engaging and collaborative. This encourages engagement and buy-in – all critical elements for the project’s success.

The ‘fun’ is also highly strategic.

We do a lot of planning and design work upfront with our key clients to develop a scope of work that will ensure sessions and the broader change program are a success.

Each of the engagement techniques have strong structures that your change consultant puts in place behind the scenes for the design sessions.

We set intent, look at scenarios and manage any risks that could emerge. We plan to make sure information needs are met, and that we incorporate all voices and build knowledge during each ‘event’.

We also ensure key players have a role – whether in sharing knowledge to create an even playing field for the workshop, or being prepared to address tricky questions that may arise.

Critically, we plan to make sure participants have concise outputs from each session that they can can share with their broader teams that may not be directly involved, and build even wider buy-in.

So although the process is fun, it’s also highly strategic and ensures collaboration, collective support and ultimately impact for the program. And this is where the magic happens.

Change management itself has changed, and this is good news for your next transformational program of works.

If you’d like to find out more about how Churchill can design a change management program to support your organisational change, email Jessica Seares.

Change Management
Back to Insights