Change Management at the London Borough of Barnet
Orchard Learning and Development Ltd was commissioned by the London Borough of Barnet to provide a range of HR, organisational development and change management consultancy services to support a major reorganisation of its Resources Directorate. The drive for the reorganisation was the need for leaner, more efficient central support functions (HR, Finance, Procurement, Customer Services) in order to channel greater resources to the delivery of front line services. Key to this change was the splitting of strategic activity in these areas from transactional activities (through a SAP technology-enabled service centre).
Barnet Council realised that its internal HR, OD and change management capacity was limited and that the resource that did exist had a close vested interest in the outcomes of the restructure. For this reason, Orchard Learning and Development was brought on board as an external and independent source of expertise in these areas.
As part of the initial four month contract, Orchard’s versatility was exploited as it led on:
- Creating the change management plan for the reorganisation
- Providing ‘leading change’ workshops for managers at all levels
- Designing and implementing a new competency framework reflecting the required new values and behaviours
- Advising on the development of new HR and Talent Management strategies
- Reviewing the effectiveness of the council’s learning and development function and developing proposals for a new model
- Developing the process for populating the new structure
- Providing workshops to staff to support them through the application and assessment process for new roles
- Supporting the implementation of homeworking within the council’s Housing Benefits service.
Orchard’s contribution was so highly valued that Barnet extended the contract by a further 12 months to enable it to effectively embed the culture change required for the new methods of working. This included leading on the establishment of a new OD and Change function and heading up this service on an interim basis.
Barnet Council's Assistant Director of Organisational Development andCustomer Services, Sean Powley, commented that 'Orchard's contribution to the success of this major reorganisation, and the necessary culture change that took place alongside it, was immense. Jonathan's ability to quickly understand our organisation and the direction we needed to head in was vital, as was his readiness to challenge current practice and be proactive in recommending and implementing innovative solutions.