Driving value from business change in HE

Investing in up-to-date facilities and undertaking a business culture transformation could support UK universities in a number of ways. Not only can it help to maintain profitability, but it could also mitigate the impact of Brexit on overseas applications. However, the disparate nature of many institutions and difficulties in accessing funding can make business transformation challenging for the sector.

Here are five steps to drive effective business change. They will help gain the support of the entire university community and keep costs under control:

Outline business change objectives

To ensure large-scale transformation projects run smoothly, it’s essential to map out key drivers for the programme at an early stage. Undertaking a gap analysis will enable universities to consider the current outputs and actions needed to improve efficiencies. By doing this, comparisons with competitor institutions can be made.

Prioritise

Rather than attempting to handle all areas of a change project at once, institutions should divide it into specific areas. This will enable them to prioritise changes which offer the best return on investment. They can then focus on these first. For example, streamlining the supply chain can have a rapid and significant impact across different stakeholder groups

Evaluate processes and systems

Technological innovations across the sector are developing at a rapid pace. As a result, HE institutions should waste no time in a thoroughly reviewing their processes and systems. This will allow any improvements to be included in the business transformation programme. It will also help to drive efficiencies across the project.

Create a communications plan

People experience business change in different ways. For this reason, it’s important that the communications plan for large projects considers the need to communicate to a variety of stakeholders. This should be done using a range of different channels. Including an FAQ section or site can prove a useful way of anticipating stakeholders’ likely questions. It also provides them with the information they need.

Ensuring stakeholders are onboard with business changes is crucial. A successful communications plan, using honest and consistent messaging, will help win trust.

Consider external reputation

Reputation is crucial for HE institutions. Therefore it’s vital that they give thought to communicating change externally and maintaining a positive public image. During this process, universities should ensure that their external messaging aligns with what has been communicated to internal stakeholders.

For more information or to discuss change management solutions further, please contact Eman Al-Hillawi or Peter Marsden.

Published: Jul 9, 2019

By Eman Al-Hillawi

Principal Consultant

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