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The Proposal


Change Management Training & Mentoring – Creation of a Change Management Community


Public sector business and service delivery transformation, is happening in every organisation, however, the success of each of these projects varies considerably, and much of the success is due to the importance and value, the organisation puts on change management.

We know that 70% of change initiatives in large organisations fail to deliver expected outcomes and ROI. The reasons for this high failure rate are manifold: governance, lack of decision making, failure to address people issues, capability and capacity. These are all fundamental components of our change management approach.

Our vision is to establish a public sector 'Change Management Centre of Excellence'; to promote and support change management practitioners across the public sector.

This proposal is the first step towards this goal by offering expert change management training, mentoring, the creation of a collaborative, virtual change management community and professional support to help deliver your local authority's chosen change management programme.




Local authorities are facing one of the most challenging periods in their history. Over the last six years local government funding has been cut by over 35% in real terms. There does not appear to be a change in the direction of travel as far as funding is concerned and recent LGA research forecasts that there will be a public sector spending deficit of £9.5billon by 2020.

Cuts in funding allied to a growing demand for public sector services means local authorities are having to look at new and innovative ways of delivering the policy outcomes politicians and the public are demanding.

Whilst all public sector organisations are used to the idea of change at a theoretical level – in practice change is often difficult and costly, overlooked and/or underfunded. This is partly due to the fact that in the traditional change triumvirate; people, process, technology too much emphasis is often placed on technology and rather than on the organisation and people end of the spectrum.

Many organisations struggle with large and complex change because:

• It is different to delivering a business as usual service; there are new challenges and skills requirements;
• There are often many interdependencies;
• In many cases there isn’t a perfect answer: procrastination and obfuscation cause delays;
• ‘Change programmes’ often mean some people giving things up – while other people gain responsibility. This can cause issues at a personal and organisational level;
• Change needs to be supported from the top – sometimes leaders in public sector organisations are not conversant with the mechanics of change, timely decision making and governance, they don’t get involved directly enough with the process of change and therefore can't foresee/manage the issues that change can bring.

Project description

The education, training and mentoring programme will be led by Caja's, change management and organisation development experts. It is expected that most people participating will have some experience of managing change and their organisation will understand the value of the practice of change management in enabling it to progress innovation and transformation – previous experience is not however a necessity.

Participants will be encouraged to bring a change management project/concept from their own authority to the programme. During the training each participant will share their change project and the training will seek to support the development of bespoke change management programmes as part of the wider curriculum.

Following three days of group training which will focus on the building blocks of the process, each participant will draw up their change management programme for their nominated project, supported by mentors, the established virtual community, online tools and resources.

Once developed, experts from the Caja Group will review and refine the developed programme with individual participants in a one-to-one scenario. This will focus on an example project the participant is working on within their local authority and afford quality & assurance, as well as the basis for action learning.

Change Management Core Programme:

• Three-day collaborative, group change management training;
• Online access to a range of change management tools, training, webinars and support;
• Organisation and creation of an online change management community;
• Individual on site visits for one-to-one change management project refinement and professional improvement.


Headline Business Case

The Caja Group has worked with many local authorities around change management, and often the smaller councils in particular are caught in an invidious position. They recognise that service improvement or even a fundamental re-design of services might be needed to address the current funding gap, but are powerless to make big changes as the cost of change itself is prohibitive.

This has often led to councils to adopt ‘innovative’ funding mechanisms that have turned out to be less ‘innovative’ and more like ‘delayed pain’ in terms of the effect on the public purse when employing external consultancies.

By training local experts in change management it will allow your local authority to:

• Increase the number of projects and programmes delivered on time, on budget with the expected outcomes;
• Develop and embed in–house change management expertise to manage different sized projects requiring change management support;
• Decrease spend on external change management consultancy - average reduction expected to be in the region of 40%;
• Enable those LAs who cannot afford external change management expertise to train in-house experts and run their own projects & programmes;
• Create a virtual resource that will support and enable continuous improvement both of participating LAs and across the sector;
• Increase opportunities for delivering new services;
• Make change far less ‘painful and difficult’ than it often is;
• Support a shift in culture to embrace change;
• Develop a sustainable approach to embedding change capability within the organisation.

The practice of Change Management is being established as an important element in public sector business transformation and the Caja Group is working with a range of professional bodies to create a Centre of Excellence. This proposal is one strand of a wider action plan to achieve this goal and participants will be encouraged to work with Caja to promote the new body - although for clarity this is not mandatory -, this in turn will help the:

• Creation of a network of change practitioners who can support each other to learn & spread good practice and develop as a group of local authority professionals;
• Create an internal consultancy for LAs to draw on expertise when the capacity is required to support change programmes;
• Ensure the widest take up and learning from and around change management.


What are we asking for?

We believe a minimum of 5 LAs (and maximum of 10) are needed to make this collaborative approach worthwhile. Each organisation will need to commit to the:

• Nomination of two change leads per participating authority;
• Commitment and active participation of an SRO from each authority to actively support their change management colleagues through the training and champion change management at the highest level;
• Commitment to attendance and completion of project;
• Access to marketing and ICT teams;
• Active involvement via email, telephone and online groups to ensure information delivery and interactive learning;
• It is recommended but not essential that participants have an internal transformation project in mind which will support and focus their learning.


Timetable  & Proposed Costs

Number of LAs  

Costs Per LA   














Timeframe: 8-10 weeks depending on availability and collective.


Who is this proposal most relevant to?

FDs, HRDs, or another member of the local authority senior management team. Its expected the FD/HRD sponsor will only be present for the first day of the course – this has been designed to give all participants an overview and common understanding of change management principles.

Plus those people nominated by the local authorities as project managers working on transformation (change) projects.


Related Projects/ Work of note

Caja has a wealth of experience in working in the public sector to facilitate and support transformational change, recent projects have included:-

• Working with a local authority to maximise the benefits from the upgrade of its ERP system in HR. Working with all stakeholder groups both internal and external to HR to ensure they could adopt and adapt to new ways of working.
• Facilitating an understanding of change, for all stakeholders in a local authority finance department, as they embarked on a major transformation, to ensure that they could actively participate, with a level of understanding to the programme.
• Leading the development of processes and change management workstream, for a major transformation in a University.
Supporting NHS Scotland in laying the foundations for offering its services to wider community.