Part 3: Complexity, Change and Systems: Building Change-Enabling Systems

    Aug 23, 2017 | Posted by Michael Campbell

    Following from Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, businesses are entering a different climate of increasingly complex changes requiring greater need for business agility. In line with Ashby's (1956) law of requisite variety, we must address multi-faceted problems and opportunities with multi-faceted solutions and responses

    Climate of Change.png

    Figure 1: How the new climate of change leads to greater need for change-enabling systems.

    For an organisation to adapt to the hurricane of changes ahead, they need to build pillars of capabilities within the organisational structure to support a robust systemic platform to introduce and accelerate internal changes so as to adapt to external ones. Prosci calls this platform - the Change-Enabling System.

    Prosci® defines Change-Enabling System and Capability as follows:

    Change-Enabling System:

    "A platform of several change capabilities intended to provide a coordinated solution supporting change efforts to increase change outcomes and probability of success."

    Change-Enabling System Structure.png

    Figure 2: Structure of Prosci® Change-Enabling System 


    A particular discipline or body of knowledge/effort intended to address a particular facet of organisational performance. Examples of Capabilities include:

    • Lean
    • Six Sigma
    • Employee Engagement
    • Strategic Management
    • Talent Management
    • Change Management
    • Project Management
    • Portfolio Management
    • Learning and Development
    • Data Analytics

    In reality, many possible Change-Enabling Systems may be introduced as shown in Figure 3 & 4:

    Organisational Agility    Transformation
    Organisational Agility CES.pngFigure 3: Change-Enabling System - Organisational Agility   Transformation CES.pngFigure 4: Change-Enabling System - Transformation

    Notice how Change Management exists in both of the systems? In fact, Change Management should be at the core of the Change Ecosystem. 

     Change Ecosystem.png 

    Figure 5: Credits to Prosci®: Prosci® Change-Enabling System Webinar- Change Ecosystem

    Now remember what we discussed about complex adaptive systems in Part 1? The interconnections of the capabilities within a Change-Enabling System qualify it as a complex adaptive system with emergent properties. Without Change Management, there will be confusion of names/terminologies and uncomplimentary discipline mixes which result in poorer change outcomes. Change Management acts as a highly integrative catalyst that will enhance Change-Enabling Systems to yield more positive emergent outcomes.

    Emergence of Change-Enabling Systems.png

    Figure 6: Credits to Prosci®: Prosci® Change-Enabling System Webinar- Emergence of Change-Enabling Systems

    The building of Change-Enabling Systems are amongst the most advanced topics covered in both the Prosci® Experienced Practitioner workshop and Enterprise Change Management (ECM) Bootcamp workshop. Embedding Change Management Capability and building Change-Enabling Systems are highly complex and technical initiatives which is why we recommended that organisations, which aspire to become/retain their position as Industry Leaders, appoint an Enterprise Change Deployment Leader to drive this vital mission.


    Next Steps...

    1) Introductory Level - Get a Change Practitioner

    If your organisation lacks someone to drive Changes at a Project/Team level, do not wait any longer! A Project Manager or anyone with strong business acumen and communication skills can serve as the Change Practitioner. Insufficient knowledge or tools can easily be overcome by undergoing training in the Prosci® Change Management Certification programme that CMC holds on a regular basis.

    Register for Prosci Train the Trainer Programme

    2) Embedding Change Management as a Capability within your Organisation

    To further develop your organisation into a self-organising system with high Change Management Maturity, competent and experienced Change Practitioners and/or Senior Project Managers should be nurtured into Enterprise Change Deployment Leaders. Once they have undergone the necessary training which includes Prosci® Experienced Practitioner workshop and Enterprise Change Management (ECM) Bootcamp, they will be equipped to grow the Change Management capability and manage the Change Portfolio within your organisation.

    Register for Prosci Experienced Practitioner Training


    Register for the Prosci Enterprise Change Management Bootcamp


    3) Consider Expert Consultation and Licensing Options

    At CMC, we are happy to help you realise your Change Management goals, no matter how lost you may be or which phase you are at. Reach out and discover your ideal Change Management Journey through a no-cost 2 hour consultation with our CMC experts.

     Request a No Cost Consultation



    Topics: Business Transformation, Prosci training