KEYNOTE 3: Restore to Factory Settings: What to Do When a Change Programme Goes Wrong

LISTEN: Isabel introduces her keynote talk

This is a war story about a battle that failed midway through a campaign. It is about a change programme that started by succeeding and then fell back to failure. Listen to the mistakes we made, what we learnt, and what we are doing to recover from failure and re-embed the changes.

Change is hard to start and hard to embed, and problems for the change programme came from several directions. Although people had bought into the new methods, and were using them successfully, when problems occurred, it was easier for people to go back to the old ways than try and hold to the new methods we had adopted. When things go wrong people and organizations will “restore to factory settings” – because old habits die hard.

We have looked at what went wrong, and we have re-planned. In doing that, we found out some things that surprised us, and that radically changed what we intend to do.

In this talk, I will discuss how leadership is needed for innovation, and innovation is needed to support diversity, but that what we think is leadership may not be sufficient to support lasting change. I will look at embedding change in test teams, but also about the benefits and disadvantages of running change programmes jointly with development teams and business teams.

We have changed course and started the new plan. What will have happened by November? Will we be successful? And how will we know?