Copper Consultancy has launched its revitalised change management offer. In this blog, we take a look at what change management is and how it has been successfully implemented outside the built environment industry. 

Organisations are constantly changing. Whether you’re adapting ways of working to address modern challenges, such as climate change and digitalisation, or improving stakeholder engagement methods to become more efficient.

The principles of change management are widely accepted within the practice, however each change programme is unique. Therefore, the implementation is a constant evolution.

To maximise benefits of change initiatives, it is crucial to always learn from change theory and industry best practice. That’s why, nearly one year on from the original launch, we have refreshed our change management offer. 

In our renewed offer, we consider: 

  • change theory from the likes of John Kotter and Prosci
  • our own experiences in undertaking change projects
  • even Domino’s Pizza

These learnings have all been fed into our renewed C:change offer. So, our offer is built on the key principle that, to create lasting change, you must build with people, not for them. 


Regardless of sector, change management is largely about using techniques to teach and alter behaviours and practices. For example, transitioning an organisation to a new IT system requires employees to buy into the benefits of the new system. So, to successfully implement a new stakeholder engagement process requires senior management to prove their genuine advocacy of the scheme – often through their behaviour. 


What is change management? 

Firstly, what are we talking about when we say “change management”?  

To Copper, change management is the process of planning for and rolling out an initiative or programme. This could include developing something that you already have in place, such as improving stakeholder engagement processes or introducing something entirely new to your team or business. 

Ultimately, this initiative or programme will cause employees and those affected by the change to do something differently. This could range from changing behaviour to operational job changes. 

In fact, to prove how universal change is, we have explored a fascinating change campaign that took place in the food and drink industry. 


Case study: Domino’s Pizza 

Back in 2008, Domino’s was struggling to stay relevant and maintain its brand reputation. By implementing a successful change management programme, the company started to turn around. 


Uncovering the change 

Having the foresight to address change in customer behaviour differentiates businesses from their competitors. Therefore, identifying a change that is happening in the industry then adapting to benefit from it, is arguably the most important step in the process. 

Through market research and analysis, Domino’s identified that more orders were being completed online. Not only were management convinced to focus business development on enhancing the online-ordering experience. But, this change in direction was due to market research and being in-tune with changes happening in the wider industry, taking into account trends. 


Proving the power of senior buy-in 

Meanwhile, the enthusiasm and support for digitalising their ordering system was filtering from the top down through the entire business. Once momentum was built and excitement spread through the business, Domino’s was able to implement new technology. This helped to support the shift to online ordering.  

Indeed, this demonstrates the importance of gaining backing from senior teams in driving change forward. Of course, senior buy-in encourages advocates from across the business to collaborate, champion and grow the new initiative. This helps in creating a snowball effect of positive support. In fact it even inspires innovation and lets stakeholders feel like change is being done with them, not to them. 


Using data to drive change 

Finally, the company leveraged customer data collected through their ordering system which helped them develop customer loyalty programs that continued to increase sales.  

Utilising data to your advantage increases the chances of a successful change initiative. Copper’s bespoke data tool Communify Insight enables us to use real-time insight in order to identify key issues, questions and challenges to develop highly targeted narratives and communication channels for stakeholders who are impacted by the change. 


Change and beyond 

Notably, Domino’s is still embracing change to this day; it has recently tested drone and robot delivery and is partnering with Ford on self-driving delivery options. 

Keeping your brand and business offer aligned with changing customer needs and priorities is a common challenge that many businesses face. Copper’s work as a part of the Towns Fund Delivery Partner taught towns how to leverage branding to create a lasting legacy through the changes that the project lifecycle brings and beyond. 

In conclusion, some of the key considerations for implementing successful change are: 

  • Identifying and taking advantage of any changes happening within your organisation or wider industry 
  • Gaining buy-in from senior teams and advocates across the business 
  • Using data to enhance your change initiative 

In fact, perhaps the built environment needs to take a slice of knowledge from Domino’s pizza. Ultimately, in every industry, successful organisations constantly evolve and redefine business models. But change requires careful communication and management.  


If you have a change happening at your business, contact Ronan Cloud, Director of Economic Development at Copper to discuss how we can help you. 

Click here to find out more about Copper’s change management offer, C:change.