a2B Advisory Consulting Ltd is a specialist change management consultancy with offices in London and Edinburgh.
We provide organisational change management services to enable the Leadership of Change® helping our clients move from their current ‘a’ state to the future ‘B’ state.
Our aim is to deliver sustainable change, maximise benefits realisation, provide a return on investment and improve operating performance.
Our focus starts with aligning and preparing the leadership team to successfully deliver their organisation’s change, transformation, or improvement.
We work with their nominated sponsor using our change framework to engage the organisation to implement the new way of working to achieve employee adoption.
Our Values: Develop change leadership capability to lead with integrity and benevolence.
Our Mission: Enhance the leadership of change and enrich the employee change transition experience.
Tell us about yourself?
I consult, speak, and write on the Leadership of Change® as well as being an adviser to C-Suites. My PURPOSE is to improve the Leadership of Change® and help leaders to successfully deliver their organisation’s change. I focus on change leadership sponsorship and programme implementation.
For the last 30 years, I have worked in over 30 countries, across many different industries and sectors. I have worked as both an internal and external consultant for some of the world’s biggest and most valued organisations.
When I look back at the projects or programmes that were successful, they had strong change management and communication components.
But the ones that stood out, and that were really successful, those were the ones that had; change sponsorship, change leadership alignment and a behavioural change element.
People and change management have always fascinated and intrigued me. It is my passion, and when you find your passion, your work no longer feels like work.
I am now back in the UK. Since I have returned, I have setup a2B Advisory Consulting and authored 12 change management books.
I’ve developed my own change management framework, concepts, models, and assessments, and I am now rolling out my Leadership of Change® online training, as well as developing gamification offerings so employees can acquire change leadership knowledge and skills.
I focus on the leadership, sponsorship, and implementation area of the change management implementation spectrum because this is where you get resources, organisation agenda time and high implementation success.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
My learning from many years of being involved in organisational change implementation is that, unless the organisation’s leadership team are aligned and prepared to effectively and proactively deliver the change backed by a creditable sponsor with authority, the change will likely fail.
I used to think if I had a good team, a good project plan, engaged the stakeholders tenaciously and the initiative was important, then with the right effort, strategic execution would naturally happen.
A three-legged stool will stand strong but remove one of the legs and you may balance for a while, but eventually the stool will fall over.
Similar to the third leg of the stool, without effective and proactive leadership supported by a sponsor, the change project will eventually fail, the change will not be adopted by the employees nor be sustained, and it will not deliver the intended benefits.
Today, I only work with clients who invest in aligning their leadership and allocate a sponsor with credibility.
What problem does your business solve?
We enable successful organisational change implementation to achieve employee adoption, return on investment (ROI) and sustainable benefits realisation.
We prepare organisations, their leadership teams, and employees to successfully deliver their change programme, transformation, or improvement initiative.
Before the organisation starts its change programme, we prepare and align the leadership to successfully deliver their organisation’s change.
We use the Change Leadership Alignment process, which starts with a change history assessment®, 1:1 interviews, alignment of strategic priorities, developing a high-performing team, and developing change leadership knowledge and skills.
Working with great leadership teams has always inspired me and that is where our business focuses, we enable organisation to successfully deliver organisation change, maximising employee adoption to deliver sustainable change.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
I am inspired to improve the leadership of change and organisation change management implementation success.
I have worked globally both as an internal and an external consultant, always using the client or organisation’s own approaches, concepts, or frameworks.
However, there was always a massive inner drive to create my own improved holistic approach for organisational change implementation. So, over the last few years, I have created my own Leadership of Change® – Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK).
Central to the approach is a change management framework to drive change programme implementation that links to important change concepts.
These change concepts include employee change adoption and employee behaviour change, as well as change leadership, and sponsorship responsibilities.
What is your magic sauce?
Our Change Leadership Alignment process enables us to prepare the organisation’s leadership to successfully deliver their change. This process has two leading practice elements:
Change History Assessment© (CHA©): Our CHA© provides data and insights into how the client has implemented previous change programmes into their organisation.
This data and insights can increase the likelihood of successful implementation through the analysis of lessons learned, mitigating previous weaknesses, and enhancing future success. The CHA© can help to shape the change approach, planning and resistance strategy.
Leadership of Change® Skills and Knowledge: We use experiential learning to develop leadership of change skills and knowledge in the last part of the Change Leadership Alignment process.
Our approach is unique. We use our proprietary change management gamification app so the leaders can learn change leadership skills and knowledge. I am a big supporter of moving away from static PowerPoint slides and using experiential learning.
I love gamification because it is an interactive and dynamic way for employees to learn change management skills and knowledge using game characteristics.
Knowledge is information acquired through sensory input: reading, watching, and listening, but skills are the ability to apply knowledge to specific situations. Gamification provides both.
The participants will be given a change case study and will work together in teams to assess, select, and implement their chosen change tactics through three simulation change phases: Plan, Execute, and Sustain.
They will discuss and choose a change tactic and get instant feedback on how the 13 stakeholders react.
The team that moves the stakeholder the furthest around the game board wins, but the most important thing is the tested learning from the case study.
These change leadership skills and knowledge can be confidently applied immediately back in the workplace.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
I have finished writing my books, so I will be providing more focus on my Leadership of Change® self-paced online learning and gamification products.
Our first Change Management Leadership Gamification – A online learning and gamification offerings are currently being rolled out.
After this, further products will focus on employee change adoption, employee behaviour change, change sponsorship, and leadership team responsibilities.
We want to enable students, employees, and leaders to have both Leadership of Change® skills and knowledge to successfully deliver organisational change.
I mentioned earlier my PURPOSE is to improve the Leadership of Change®.
That means creating a change management body of knowledge (CMBoK) that enables organisations, leaders, and their employees to successfully lead change. It also means being the preferred provider of consulting advice.
Our clients use our approach to enable them to successfully implement organisational change to improve performance and stay ahead of the competition.
Our VISION is to enable the Leadership of Change®.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The big challenge I face with nearly all new clients or C-Suites is convincing them that they cannot delegate their organisation’s change programme to another internal team or even experienced external consultants and expect it to be successful.
They want to give all their focus to current normal day-to-day operations and only really get involved when the change is ready to become the new normal day-to-day operations. I have to convince them that they need to focus on both.
The question set I ask all CEOs and their leadership teams as they are about to embark on their organisation’s change or transformation is:
“Do you understand the organisation’s change history?
Do you have a change vision?
Are you aligned on your strategic objectives?
Are you a high-performing team?
Does your team have change leadership skills and knowledge to lead the change or improvement that your organisation is facing?”
These are the foundations of successful change, so I work with the leadership team to align and prepare them to successfully lead and deliver their organisation’s change or transformation.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
The organisations, leaders and people who buy into our vision have one thing in common, they don’t want to be part of another failed change programme, transformation, or improvement initiative.
They believe they cannot deliver successful change implementation without an effective and proactive sponsor, backed by an aligned leadership team with change leadership skills and knowledge.
They know that an organisation and its leaders cannot delegate change to a different and isolated internal change team or even experienced external consultants, expecting change implementation to supersede current normal day-to-day operations to become the new way of working.
They understand that successful organisational change leadership is about effectively and proactively articulating the vision, modelling the new way, and intervening to ensure sustainable change.
They recognise that sponsorship is the single most important factor in change success and have the conviction to ensure all these fundamentals are part of their organisation’s change approach.