Change or Chance (Part 4) The Hybrid Structure and Building a Guiding Coalition

The Hybrid Structure and Building a Guiding Coalition

We’ve discussed:

Part 1 change leadership and change management

Part 2 the role and importance of the executive sponsor

Part 3 creating a sense of urgency

In part 4, we look at the role of the Guiding Coalition (GC) as a key element of a successful change program.

Traditional business hierarchies were developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to create stable, repeatable, dependable, efficient, and low-cost processes during, and following, the first industrial revolution – “Industry 1”. 

The emphasis has been upon stability, reliability and efficiency.

We’re now in “Industry 4” – the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) – and are about to voyage into “Industry 5”, with its emphasis on social responsibility and People and Planet.

Organisations need to structure for the current and impending paradigms.  “Industry 1” edifices won’t cut it.

We face an accelerating rate of change, and we need structures that can meet this challenge now and in the future. 

Enter the hybrid structure.

Pioneered by the pre-eminent authority on change and transformation, Dr John Kotter of Harvard Business School and Kotter Inc, the hybrid structure places a “creative network” alongside the traditional hierarchical model, explained by Dr Kotter here……and we’ll discuss this further, and in detail, later in this series.

Cue the “Guiding Coalition” (GC) – an essential group that coordinates the work of the creative network and its critical integration with the hierarchy.

The result of this hybrid is an organisation that is both stable, reliable, and efficient (it’s hierarchical structure) and flexible, creative, and agile (its creative network), both working in concert, via the GC.

The GC itself is populated by members of the organisation who are carefully trained and selected for the role. 

They understand the importance of the principles and accelerators of change (more of these later in this series), of which “urgency”, covered in Part 3 of this series, is but one. 

The GC members understand the critical importance of effective and authentic communications with the entire organisation, particularly with respect to innovation and change. 

They practice change leadership and facilitate change management and they enlist and encourage, “the volunteer army” (more later!) that populates and drives the creative network.

So, our effective change and transformation model is building.

Subsequent parts of this series, we’ll overview the principles and accelerators that are the glue of the change and transformation program, and that are designed to work holistically to significantly enhance the probability of a successful and satisfying change/transformation strategy.

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Barry Eustance CMgr MCMI

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