Basico-Forandring Fryder

There’s nothing like change ... (when it’s successful)

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Maj Uggerhøj

Maj Uggerhøj


09. April 2022

It’s often said that there’s nothing like change. However, in our experience far from all change projects have a happy ending.

Based on our own and others' long experience, we have therefore developed a change model addressing typical challenges, risks, and pitfalls, thereby contributing to change with a happier ending – both during the process and after the project's completion.

Why isn’t change always a success?

There are many myths about the high failure rate of projects. For some reason, a failure rate of 70 per cent is often mentioned, though the definition of ‘failure rate’ is somewhat uncertain.

Does the failure rate cover projects that are not carried out appropriately, projects where the planned value is not realised, or projects where long-term, sustainable anchoring is absent?

One reason for the lack of success often mentioned is ambiguity about the purpose of the change, including the real underlying problem and ambition. And not least challenges related to inefficiency, involvement, and ownership during the project implementation phase and the subsequent anchoring phase.

These reasons are typical pitfalls that prevent successful change. We have listed them in seven points of attention below so that you can recognise the pitfalls and avoid falling into them.


1. Focus on your problem before planning.

In our experience, projects are planned in detail very early; even before the actual problem and its origin have been mapped and understood.


2. Look forward – that’s where you are heading.

Often, many resources are allocated for extensive and retrospective As-Is analyses without any significant contribution to the understanding of the problem or the solutions.


3. Drop crystal ball gazing.

There is a tendency to develop detailed To-Be descriptions before knowing the problem and its origin.


4. Start with yourself.

In many projects, standardised concepts such as benchmarking and best practice are used, which may result in irrelevant explanations of deviations compared to others' choices and their context. Instead, focus on your own specific challenges.


5. Spend more time understanding your problem.

Often, too little time is spent in the early phase analysing, understanding, and accepting the actual problem and the underlying reasons. This is a significant issue; especially when dealing with complex problems. Since it may, in addition to inefficiency, result in solutions that address symptoms rather than the fundamental reasons, motivations, and ambitions of the change project.


6. Involve the employees who are to live with the change.

Often, too little focus is on involvement and ownership, which may result in a poorer solution and anchoring in the organisation when the project is completed.


7. Define operational roles.

The relationship between your own employees and external consultants – and not least their respective roles – may result in too much theory and too little operationalisation, thereby being a hindrance to learning and anchoring of the project in the organisation.

What is the foundation for successful change?

Why do the above reasons continue to haunt and prevent successful changes? Since we have been talking about change management for decades, and many persistent attempts have been made to improve status quo by companies, advisors, and educational institutions alike.
It is our view that part of the explanation lies in some fundamental

assumptions which are the background for much management and many management tools that, despite having been used for many years, are still practised extensively.

A Marvin Bower quote from his farewell to McKinsey & Company in 1999 after almost 60 years supports this point: “Command and control management – the way most companies are run – was very useful and effective if you go back far enough, but with today’s conditions of competition, global economy, rapid technology, it no longer is as effective as it should be ... many companies say that they want to change … but they have not developed a basically new way to run a business. Leaders should focus on the business as a whole and make the whole work more cohesively instead of hierarchically.”

The essence of the quote is that successful changes require you to accept an unpredictable future and to act, plan, and set the bar accordingly, while engaging, involving, and giving ownership to all the parties involved and affected. These are the fundamental assumptions that Basico's Change Model is based on.

How does Basico's Change Model contribute to successful change?

Based on our own experience implementing changes, we have therefore developed Basico's Change Model.

The purpose is to assist our clients in implementing the desired changes in the most effective way and with a long-term and sustainable anchoring.

There are particularly three characteristics of the model that address the seven typical reasons why changes aren’t successful.

Basicos Change Model

1. An iterative, dynamic, and learning process

The model is flexible and scalable, making it possible to adjust its scope, duration, and execution.

More specifically, this means that focus is on your organisation's context and needs. The sequence of the four phases is given, but a detailed project plan is not developed from the outset.

Each phase is planned in detail only when the preceding phase has been completed, as insights and learnings from the preceding phase help define the scope, structure, and format of subsequent phases.

The phases are iterative, ensuring a dynamic and learning process, and taking account of the insight, learning, understanding, and progress of the project.

This ensures that the solutions reflect new knowledge and changes, and that project resources are used most efficiently.

2. Establishment of a thorough Case for Change

The first phase is extremely important, since it helps ensure a thorough understanding of the problems to be solved, including an understanding of the underlying origins.

At the same time, focus is unambiguously on the ambition of the change – why should the challenges be solved, why should this change be implemented, and what is attempted to be achieved with the change? We call this establishing a Case for Change.

Without this insight, there is a risk that the solutions address only symptoms or that solutions are designed where the bar is set too low based on others' existing level.

In this phase, we thus make a point of establishing this understanding; not only in management but also among the employees involved and affected.

3. Anchoring

The model helps ensure collaboration and employee involvement throughout the project. Both through analysis of challenges, reasons, and ambition as well as through solution design, planning, prioritisation, and implementation, including anchoring, adjustment, and learning.

This is emphasised by the last phase, the intention of which is to ensure that the developed solutions (processes, systems, behaviour, etc.) are solidly anchored in the organisation.

Maj Uggerhøj

Maj Uggerhøj


+45 31 76 75 23

Would you like to ensure long-term, sustainable change?

Basico's Change Model is a central element in our consultancy and participation in project and change deliverables. Through a thorough understanding of the problem and its anchoring in the organisation, the model contributes to a lasting and valuable change.

So, if you are interested in receiving a detailed description of Basico's Change Model, or are faced with a demanding change that needs to be implemented, don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can help you and your change project being a success.