Mindful ITSM requires a focus on the people aspects of change and not just process and technology.
Manypeople understand this and have turned to guidance such as Kotter’s eight steps process for
leading change. However, where I find people struggling is that they understand the ‘what’ needs to happen
but are unsure of the ‘how’.

My book, ‘Balanced Diversity – A Portfolio Approach to Organisational Change’ is based on research undertaken at Simon Fraser University which produced a framework of 59 practices that can be utilised to embed change into an organisation.

The fundamental difference between this approach and other change models is that it advocates a balanced approach. The practices are arranged into groups of informal and formal practices that either deliver on current commitments (fulfilment) or move the organisation further along the path to change (innovation).

The key is to select a balance of practices from each group in order to successfully embed the change into the organisation, rather like we should select a balance of foods from each of the four food groups for a healthy life, so that it becomes part of the DNA of the organisation.

The 59 practices identified by the research are grouped into 20 categories across four quadrants.

The quadrant that depicts informal practices aimed at fulfilment is called “fostering commitment”.

Practices in this quadrant aim to build and reinforce the importance of the change for the organisation and to support and encourage those who are making efforts to embed the change.

The quadrant that depicts the formal practices aimed at fulfilment is called “clarifying expectations”.

The practices in this quadrant aim to integrate the change into the core of the organisation’s strategies and processes; equip and encourage employees via training and incentives; and measure, track and report on the organisation’s progress.

The quadrant that depicts the informal practices aimed at innovation is called “building momentum for change”.

The practices in this quadrant aim to support a culture of change innovation by developing the new ideas needed to bring the organisation closer to its long-term goals. These practices inspire and reassure employees so that they can experiment, try new things, and build on each other’s ideas.

The quadrant that depicts the formal practices aimed at innovation is called “instilling capacity for change”.

Practices in this quadrant aim to create structures or supports that will form a foundation for future changes in the organisation.

Leaders of ITSM change should draw practices from all four quadrants of the framework in the effort to embed a change within the organisation. It is a balanced approach, using a wide and diverse range of practices that will achieve successful organisational change.

The approach can be used for strategic, tactical and operational change. It can be used for small, medium and large changes of varying complexity and priority.

The framework can be used to assess a current change initiative and perform a gap analysis or it can be used for planning the approach to future change initiatives.

You can read the white paper about the framework here.

‘Balanced Diversity – A Portfolio Approach to Organisational Change’ is a part of the itSMF Library and published by TSO (The Stationery Office). ISBN 9780117080607.