How to Structure Large Scale Change Efforts

Change Phases
Knowledge Center


Best Practices
Ron Banerjee
Financial Consultant, United States

How to Structure Large Scale Change Efforts

Hello All: For a textbook chapter that I am authoring, I am compiling a list of different change effort structures that leaders adopt when organizing large scale efforts. I believe that there are four different structures or approaches that an organization navigates when dealing with a major organizational change initiative.
I say "navigates" because one can see shifts between each approach happening throughout the large scale change effort. I'm curious regarding your opinions and anecdotes regarding other change effort structures that in your experience have been effective. Again, please consider the large scale level of change only. The following is a brief description of 4 structures I previously referenced:
  1. THE SHADOW ORGANIZATION - This is where the change effort requires an organization to create a separate organization chart of various specialized teams ie. Training and development, physical plant, where the team engages the change effort based on the milestones that are required, but only those that are focused on their specialization. An essential characteristic of this change structure is that these specialized teams still operate within their existing, respective overall workgroups or divisions while targeting the change milestones that the organization requires of their specific specialty areas.
  2. THE EMBEDDED EFFORT - This is where the responsibilities of required change are built into the job descriptions of the employees. As part of the change effort, by embedding the responsibilities of change into the job descriptions this mandates attention to any change effort as a part of job performance. Change-related performance is added as the list of KPI's to be assessed as part of overall job performance. The premise here is that by mandating change responsibilities at the individual level, no additional organization structures are necessary to effectuate change.
  3. THE DREAM TEAM - This is a change structure can also be referred to as the star approach. The idea here is that the change consultant works with the organization to identify superstars from within the organization. Once these stars are identified, a change task force is created comprised of these stars. The sole purpose of this task force is to generate a proposal for change implementation based on the stars' opinions and observations which are ultimately presented to the C-level executives for disposition. It is a known fact that in talent management circles that an organization's "stars" are as much as 20% more productive than the typical rank and file employee. This change structure builds on that high level of engagement and performance.
  4. INSTITUTIONALIZED STRUCTURAL CHANGE - This change structure is when the organization chart is modified to create specific departments that handle a change aspect. For example, organizations are increasingly establishing departments that focus exclusively on Diversity and Inclusion-related change while other departments might be established to manage change impacting production or quality, or safety. In all cases, the organization is augmented by the creation of separate change-focused departments as recognized parts of the overall organization. These change silos only focus on the parts of the large scale change that impact those within their silo's boundary.
⇨ I look forward to your stories and thoughts regarding (other) large change effort structures.


Kerry Oldfield
Consultant, Australia

Are Change Effort Structures Cosmetic?

This addresses the structural aspects but not the cultural aspects of Change. It is akin to doing th... Sign up

Fernando Rendon, United States

Change for the Real Reasons

Complementing Mr. Oldfield's comments above I'd add that the organization has to have a clear "compa... Sign up

Gandhi Heryanto
Management Consultant, Indonesia

Change Management Plan

From the 4 different structures or approaches described in this discussion forum topic, I have exper... Sign up

Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

How to STRUCTURE Large Scale Change Efforts

Dear Members, please note that the discussion topic is: how to structure large scale c... Sign up

Ron Banerjee
Financial Consultant, United States

Agreed - Structuring and Organizing

@Jaap de Jonge: All, I agree with Jaap. The comments which you have provided are very valuable, howe... Sign up

Melchiorre Calabrese
Business Consultant, Italy

How to Structure Large Scale Change Efforts

Congratulations to Mr. Ron Banarjee for the work he is doing, demanding and interesting! I wish to ... Sign up

Ron Banerjee
Financial Consultant, United States

Re-Callibration of the Organizational Change Structure During the Process

@Melchiorre Calabrese: Thank you for your kind comments and input for the topic. Indeed, large-scal... Sign up


More on Change Phases:
Discussion Topics
🥇 Kotter's New 8 Accelerators for Strategic Change
🥈 Emotions During Organizational Change: the Change Curve
🥉 Why do so Many Change Processes Fail?
🔥 The Roles of Managers in Organizational Change (Carnall)
How to Establish a Sense of Urgency (Kotter)? Ideas
Neglecting the Change Phases
Disadvantages of the Kotter Change Theory
How to Consolidate and Keep Moving (Kotter)? Ideas
How to Create a Coalition (Kotter)? Ideas
How to Develop a Clear Vision (Kotter)? Ideas
How to Share / Communicate the Vision (Kotter)? Ideas
Kotter's Dual Operating System
How to Anchor the Change (Kotter)? Ideas
How is the Change Presented and Communicated?
How to Clear Obstacles (Kotter)? Ideas
How to Secure Short-term Wins (Kotter)? Ideas
The Roles of Top and Middle Management in Change
Add Unlearning to Kotter's Change Phase Model
👀How to Structure Large Scale Change Efforts
Using Kotter After Cameron and Quinn's Competing Values Framework
Kotter Change Steps for Political Change
Our Iceberg is Melting
Organizational Change: Why Establish a Sense of Urgency First?
Kotter Change Model in Public Sector
Special Interest Group

Do you know a lot about Change Phases? Become our SIG Leader

Change Phases
Knowledge Center

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
2023 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V16.1 - Last updated: 1-6-2023. All names of their owners.