Navigating Change: Adaptations Focus Instead of Transformations

Stoke Consulting - Igniting the flames of growth

Business organisations are forever adapting to changing external and internal drivers.  Much has been written about change management and the proven processes to be followed in planning, instigating and embedding transformational changes in business. Often externally driven or the invention of the new CEO, these are cascaded through the business on direction. Our current turbulent times have many external factors pushing on the status quo. Transformational change isn’t going away anytime soon, regardless of change fatigue.

Businesses must remain aware of and continue to support culturally the fundamental desire of people to improve their lot. People being natural born problem solvers always find ways to make their work easier, or to maintain output for less input. These adaptations are everyday examples of process change improvements.  Roles such as Supervisors and Foreman are often the witnesses and controllers in providing consent (or not) to the implementation of these adaptations.

Proactive Managers often treat these changes as logical, somewhat incremental, widely acknowledged and accepted throughout the business unit or company, and treated more as a necessary evolution in efficiency.  Depending on the autonomy and latitude allowed to their position by Senior Management / Executive, the initiative would be approved, or in many cases affirmed.  Act now and plead for leniency later, subject to a culture which rewards initiative within the boundaries of O,E, H and S compliance. 

Do you remember the suggestion box? The discrete, generally anonymous receptacle was often used by management to solicit and gauge staff ideas and morale, back in the day. Whilst this channel was often employed to influence workplace conditions including leave, it also often lead to the exploration of change initiatives, team building and a straight 360 degree management review. Team toolbox talks and team meetings are another avenue for a level of ideation and solutions to be raised.

Technology platforms funnel workflows in one system (or linked systems) allowing transparency, traceability, structure, communication and near real time analytics. Whilst their very nature is binary, they aim to evolve to meet changing business needs. People develop work arounds and backups to maintain productivity.    

Professionals, being members of Institutes tasked with promoting their field and setting policy / standards and guidelines (including ethics) are reminded regularly and tasked with continuous improvement. Plan, Do, Review and Act.

Project Managers have for years utilised a structured formal change review and request process. Typically, the change request describes the issue, reasons for the change, impact analysis, optioneering, benefits, costs and ease of implementation.  A change control team then assesses the request within the project parameters also considering risk, feasibility and complexity for approval. BIM has become a useful tool in testing impacts.

How does your business’s values and culture seek innovation? Is time allowed for continuous improvement reviews? Is real time change control structured and traceable? Acknowledging and implementing adaptive change is good business DNA.

If you are a senior manager and know of people in your organisation who could do with some help with the above, contact Stoke Consulting to find out how we can help via


James White
Stoke Consulting

James’s background in property development across both government and private sectors underscores his project management experience in identifying opportunities for financial gain and risk mitigation. Proficient in strategic planning, feasibility, deal structuring and brokerage, stakeholder management and creating value, he owns outcomes to successfully deliver results.