Updated: Dec 14, 2020
An organisation’s capacity can be defined as the organisation’s total ability to deliver normal day-to-day operations and change activities. If the organisation does not have change capacity it is unlikely the employees will be able to take on any extra workload. Getting this balance right can mean the difference between successfully delivering both, however the data from the change history assessment© (CHA©) constantly highlights this as a challenge. The feedback from employees is that their workload is not considered when the organisation is implementing change. Specific feedback indicates that workload is not taken into account when learning new software, technology, systems, methods or processes. This change overload not only causes workforce stress but also creates resistance to the change that would otherwise have been accepted.
“Organisation change capacity and employee workload are ignored considerations in change implementation, until they become the reason for failure”
Capacity and workload are serious considerations. Not only should the organisation have a strategic planning process, the output in terms of available capacity should be an important input factor to change sponsors and their teams when planning their change programmes. So, how much capacity should an organisation have for change as it delivers normal day-to-day operations? There are typically four key organisational capacity components
There are typically four key organisational capacity components:
Normal Day-to-Day Operations
Unplanned Work or Rework
Mandatory Change Capacity
Strategic Change Capacity
“Unless the change programme is continually aligned to the organisation’s capacity it will be unable to deliver speedy benefits or value to the organisation”
The percentage splits of the four key organisational capacity components will vary from organisation to organisation and from year to year. The important concept is that organisation and change professionals might live in a world where they see their change programme or project as the most important thing. In reality however, their change programme is only small in comparison to normal day-to-day operations. Another important consideration is that the organisation’s leaders tend to think that successful change implementation will not take much effort and because it is important everyone will support delivery. Great leaders and their organisation's don’t just focus on what to do to become the best, but also what not to do, and what to stop doing. It is important to have the discipline to only start the change programmes or projects that will drive the organisation’s economic engine.
Peter F Gallagher is a Change Management Global Thought Leader, Expert, International Speaker, Author and Leadership Alignment Coach.
Ranked #1 Change Management Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (May 2020) by Thinkers360.
Business Book Ranking: Change Management Pocket Guide - Leadership of Change® Volume 2, ranked within the top 50 Business and Technology Books (Jan 2020) from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders.