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Uncertainty is the new norm…..


As specialists in delivering change and transformation, we know all too well that leadership is fundamental in enabling successful delivery. In fact when we are looking at whole organisation change, such as Target Operating Model design, we always start with the leadership team.

If we apply that lens to the UK as a whole, it’s clear to see uncertainty is the order of the day. For instance on the same day that triggering Article 50 gets the green light, ending months of negotiation, there is talk of a second Scottish independence referendum – thus throwing another factor into the melting pot.

Uncertainty is happening at a national, global, and political level and this has a clear impact on the economy. Within the Public Sector we are entering a period where new changes around IR35 legislation and continued cuts will mean a further period of instability. In the Private Sector, organisations have been generally reluctant to enter into periods of change until they know what the future looks like.

Regardless of your political leaning, and how happy you feel about the current situation, that is the way of the world currently and probably will be for some time. So organisations, and the leaders within them, now have two choices – they can batten down the hatches and stick to doing BAU as well as they can, riding out the current uncertainty and hoping that light at the end of the tunnel will arrive sooner rather than later. Or, they can embrace change – setting clear objectives which are within their circle of control and investing in the areas which can add value to their customers, workforce and shareholders despite the uncertainty. That in itself requires a level of flexibility and the ability to adapt to change, which may mean a cultural and operational shift for some organisations.

It will come as no surprise to you which approach Ameo are advocating. But we, like all Consultancies, have a responsibility in this as well. If you’ve read my previous article you will know I am passionate about the Hybrid model as an approach to Consultancy (if you haven’t then you really should, here is a handy link for you). The Hybrid model is agile and built on the premise that we work to the agenda of our customers, rather than pushing solutions that don’t add value in the current circumstances.

The absolutely critical part of what we do at the outset of any new engagement is work in partnership with clients to agree clear outcomes which meet their needs right there at that moment and set them up for future success. Sometimes that means, as a Partner, we need to guide our customers on the best course of action based on our real world experience of what works, rather than a theoretical model or approach which is a Utopia never to be realised. That is, after all, how we earn the badge of a Consultancy and ultimately why organisations need us – to bring an external viewpoint as well as fresh thinking and pace to the challenges you face.

Another key factor for success of the Hybrid model is how well we embed with your teams. The Hybrid model is not about swarming the floors with our team and delivering to you. Instead we focus on what capability you have internally and how well we can work with that capability, both during the engagement and transferring skills at the end of the engagement. This is important at all times but especially during periods of uncertainty, because you don’t know how long it will last and therefore building internal capability means you become less reliant on external consultancy support. This is how we believe we should be used, as a partner for those areas you don’t know how to, or do not have the capacity to tackle. We are confident that this model and our approach means that when we deliver then, if needed, we are invited back!

In conclusion, uncertainty is the new norm. For now, and for the foreseeable future. You may be feeling that uncertainty, and it may very well be breeding negativity. But just know you’re not alone, there are those out there that want to help you navigate this period and come through it with positive stories and clear outcomes delivered.

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