Prosci's methodology is the collective lessons learned by thousands of change practitioners and project leaders across the globe. It focuses on managing change effectively and building change competent organizations. Over the 20-year period of conducting comprehensive research studies, including the recently launched 10th study, we have asked participants about the greatest contributors to success. We actively track and report on the top contributors and numerous other topics, examining trends and key themes captured as data, graphs, and charts in a comprehensive research summary.
What would it look like, however, if we blended these findings into a fictional company with a setting, plot, characters, and key theme – the elements of a story? And, what if the key theme was building a change competent organization? That is exactly what we have done with the creation of Finesta Financial.
Finesta Financial LLC (‘Finesta’) is a fictional company used by Prosci as a sample company. Finesta is for illustrative purposes as a composite of many projects and clients. All scenarios, people, and roles represented are fictitious. Each was created to describe typical challenges faced when managing change and the decisions and actions that could be taken to address them. All example outputs leverage best practice research consistent with the Prosci methodology.
Finesta is a U.S. based financial services firm founded in 2000 with offices in Chicago (HQ), London, Hong Kong, and Sydney. They serve start-ups, as well as established companies, focused on innovative services to plan and fund a company’s growth strategy; especially to global markets. Finesta has an established business model working with clients as a trusted advisor and growth partner. The 15,000 employees of Finesta pride themselves on providing outstanding service focused on quality, performance, and financial results.
Like many organizations, Finesta recently conducted an assessment to identify where to drive organizational improvement to ensure continued success. The assessment identified risks and opportunities with an underlying theme of ‘organizational agility,’ which was defined as “the capability to rapidly change or adapt in response to changes in the market.” In addition, the assessment highlighted some key projects and initiatives conducted in the past few years that had not produced the desired results and outcomes, sometimes resulting in a significant financial impact. Some of these projects had to be re-worked or delayed due to poor adoption and challenges in benefit realization as originally defined in each project’s charter and funding approval documentation. The resulting drop in employee morale coupled with management frustration was starting to impact the culture.
In fact, it was discovered there was no specific approach defined for how to introduce change successfully at Finesta – a situation that caused concern at the top level of the organization.
Liam Goodman, the president and CEO of Finesta summarized his thoughts in this way:
“Organizational agility will help Finesta react successfully to the emergence of new competitors, the development of new industry-changing technologies, or sudden shifts in overall market conditions. I am asking my leadership team and everyone in the organization to make agility – our ability to change quickly and effectively – a priority and to define specific actions we can take in every aspect of our business to be able to adapt quickly to client needs now and in the future.” – Liam Goodman, President and CEO
As part of the new directive, Liam assigned overall accountability for driving organizational agility to his Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mina Wynn. Liam trusted Mina and knew she would represent his interests. Mina had access to a budget, decision making authority, and business influence, but that was not enough. She knew one of the critical competencies needed to help drive organizational agility was a establishing an operating model and approach for how change was managed internally at Finesta. She also knew building a change capability would require structure and intent. Up to this point, managing change at Finesta was considered ‘everyone’s job’, but there were no standardized processes, methods, tools, or measurements to drive success.
Mina proposed the creation of a new role focused on building a change capability at Finesta. Mina wanted her new Director of Change Management to come from within the organization. She wanted someone who had a broad view of the organization, was influential in previous project activities, was an effective communicator, had strong interpersonal skills, and was known for their integrity and authenticity. She also wanted someone who would move quickly to build a change management competency in order to address a number of changes that were on the horizon for Finesta.
After discussions with managers and employees in various parts of the organization, she selected Laney Carter. Laney was a 10-year Finesta employee who had worked in the London and Chicago offices with experience as a senior business analyst and line manager working closely with HR and IT. Mina considered it a nice blend of ‘technical’ and ‘people’ skills.
The change management activities taking place at Finesta were in response to an organizational mandate to become a more change competent and agile organization. “Establishing a vision of a change competent organization will help guide and direct activities at the project level and more broadly as we take the steps to become competent at managing change in all areas of the organization as part of our organizational DNA” – Mina Wynn, Chief Operating Officer.
In the future state of a change capable organization, the following conditions are true:
The story for Finesta doesn’t begin in the future state; it begins in the current state, where they are today. Just as it does in your organization with your setting, plot, characters, key themes, conflicts, and resolutions. Watch the story of Finesta’s change journey unfold in context within Prosci’s training, advisory services, tools and toolkits. Together, we will learn from their change journey and see 20 years of research data and lessons learned come to life.
You can learn more about Finesta and its change management journey in the Practitioner eToolkit. This online toolkit allows you to learn about the methodology, access all the tools and templates, and see the detailed sample deliverables from Finesta. You’ll find real examples of many Prosci tools and templates, including:
The outputs and change plans you create should be customized and scaled specific to your organization and the nature of the projects and change initiatives you are managing, but the Finesta plans are examples you can refer to as you go through the process.
Karen Ball is an energetic leader with over 30 years of experience working with organizations as a trusted partner and advisor. Her passion is to help organizations manage the people impact of change to improve adoption and drive benefits realization. She uses her unique ability to bring clarity in complex situations to optimize organizational results.
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