Organizational Development Consultant and Leadership Coach

Sustainability Analysis

September 12, 2013

“It seems that every time we implement a change, within a few months, people are back to their old ways of working. What can we do to make change stick?”

What is it?
Many changes do not ‘stick’ because no one has taken the time to identify and address the issues which will support or sabotage the change over the long term. Sustainability Analysis is designed to identify and address issues critical to making the change stick.

Examples of issues which can impact sustainability include:

  • Ensuring the right people are in the right jobs
    • Effective leadership
    • People with skills and expertise to do the job
    • Performance management – proactively addressing poor performance
  • Adequate training and communication about the change
  • Rewards and recognition aligned
  • Projects prioritized, ensuring the most important things are accomplished first
  • Organizational structure aligned
  • Processes aligned
  • Cultural issues addressed
  • Technology issues addressed

When do you use it?
For every change, some level of analysis will be necessary. The bigger the change, the more time will be required to ensure sustainability.

How do you use it?
Analyze the issues by asking yourself and the stakeholders ‘what will get in the way of this change being a success over the long term?’ This analysis should be part of the original project plan.

Document and prioritize the issues and discuss ways to overcome them. Discuss with decision makers, i.e. the Executive Steering Group and Project Sponsor, and gain their support in addressing sustainability issues.

Assign accountabilities for recommended changes and follow up to ensure the changes are made. In some cases, some elements of your sustainability plans may need to become projects of their own, i.e. improving performance management or improving leadership effectiveness.

Review on a regular basis.


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