Sustainable Change by Luke Garner

We've done it! The project is about to go live. Okay, we need to think about how we ensure the change is sustained in the business.

Wrong, so wrong.

We need to be considering what actions need to be taken to ensure the change sticks, throughout the entire life cycle of the project. Leaving it to the last minute is going to get last minute results - rubbish ones. I was recently involved in a discussion around sustainability of change, so here are my 2 cents.

  1. A strong case for change (not a business case) is the foundation of sustainability - if we're delivering change for a reason(s) that people do not buy into, they're going to go right back to how it was before, as soon as they get the chance. We need strong, credible reasons for the change which need communicating, as often as possible from every layer of management.
  2. A network of people who are, actually behind the change, not just because their boss thinks its a good idea. These are the people who will challenge the naysayers, who will push to stay in the "new world". These need to be people right up the ladder, from front line to CEO.
  3. KPI's / targets / measures of success. Whatever you want to call them, we need new measures that align to the new world. Preferably an over-haul, not just adding one or two on. If a new, well defined way to measure people isn't delivered, it pretty much forces people back to the old ways of working.
  4. Be rewarding. What better way to embed something new, than to reward someone? Identify, quickly, the individuals who have embraced change, who are living in the "new world" and give them public recognition.
  5. Momentum! In the lead up to delivering the change there will undoubtedly have been an increase in activity, excitement & communication. This needs to continue at the same pace after go live. Once the project has closed the business needs to continue at the same momentum for a period of time to ensure the change is successfully embedded.
  6. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES. Who in BAU is going to own new processes, who is going to be accountable for ensuring the new ways of working are being adhered to once the project closes.

They're just mine, I'd be interested to hear other views. More importantly I'd love to hear from people who have received a change that embedded and is well sustained!



Luke is a highly accomplished business professional with a proven track record of delivering change in some of the largest UK organisations in their industry.

His expertise covers the identification and management of stakeholders, driving engagement through effective communication and ensuring individuals are set up for success to embed and sustain the change. His drive to succeed and improve is in part a result of a highly successful career as a GB athlete.