Understanding the skills of successful implementation

Organizations today increasingly recognize that implementation needs to become a core skill. In doing this, they are acknowledging that implementation requires specific knowledge and skills that go beyond straightforward project management.

The plan-plan-plan-execute model which typifies many common approaches simply won’t work because it is predicated on the false assumption that exhaustive planning will provide the right answer, rather than on the necessity to provide the right vehicle for people to learn and practice new skills. Also, the right answer won’t be found because of the situational nature of change – each situation is unique and changing.

Instead, the change program should seek to use past experiences as signposts and clues to support and accelerate local learning and solutions that are unique to the situation. This process typically takes years, rather than months, to master so expectations should be set appropriately. Solutions that are imposed on people tend to be rejected because these don’t ring true in their specific situation.

That is why leaders should coach their people through the change process rather than just tell them how to move forward. Supporting people as they find their own solutions is more motivating and sustainable. It leaves behind more capability than simply giving them the answers.

Rupert Hucker

Rupert founded Evolve Partners in 2000 based on an idea about how business consulting should be different – that clients should truly develop and learn from the process as well as achieving major financial benefits. Since then, he has helped many clients achieve significant shifts in profitability with further results continuing to be delivered long after the engagement has ended. As CEO, Rupert is responsible for guiding the firm as it continues its path of successful growth, and for overall governance and the development of Evolve’s unique brand and culture.