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What do we think of change?

​Back in 2008 Barack Obama successfully ran for the US Presidency with the campaign slogan “Change we can believe in”. The voters and the people got behind the idea of a change for the better and the first black president swept into power.

So why do organisations struggle with change? Is it that the people are resistant to change or are they resistant to being changed?

When companies engage on a large scale SAP implementation or a roll-out of SAP from a subsidiary to the wider group, change management should be at the heart of the strategy. Humans are evolutionally predisposed to resist change because of the risk associated with it. This means selecting the right people to communicate the message of how and why the benefits outweigh the risk is crucially important.

When I’m approached to recruit change consultants for SAP Programmes there are a number of criteria that I look for and how they are presented for maximum impact. Whilst every role is different there are of course the core skills, experience and expertise that do the trick.


  • Good communication and understanding of people is vital to successful change consultants. The ability to understand a person’s needs and reasons for and against change helps paint the picture that the person will buy.

  • Candidates that don’t listen or interrupt whilst I’m introducing the role immediately starts raising alarm bells.

  • If you don’t care why then why should the client care about you?


  • Long term contracts with extension through a challenging programme shows the trust and strong relationships built through time.

  • Greenfield implementations are sometimes the most challenging environments and is a real sign of someone’s capability to have a positive impact in change.

  • Global experience succeeding in different cultures implies that their empathy and understanding of people is strong and helps to facilitate change.


  • A study of organisational change management or philosophy shows a willingness to understand people and have the knowledge to help change programmes.

  • A well-presented CV that reads well and allows the manager to grasp what and why the consultant has achieved carries a greater impact than a long and too detailed profile.

The great English writer Arnold Bennett said: “Any change, even a change for the better is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts”. The quicker they are identified and understood by the employees the easier it will be for them to embrace the change. Excellent change professionals make this happen.