Beyond The Partner Role
"Done WITH you" instead of "Done FOR you"


The problem with changing the way people work is that it is fickle. We're like rubber bands. As soon as you remove the stress, the band returns back to the way it was before.

So, you're in a leadership position and you want to enact your agenda with your team. What do you do? Quite often we rely on outside expertise to provide a "done-for-you" service to implement a transformation of the organisation. Whilst in the short term this service may provide a solution, what happens if they leave?  

Once these interims or consultants finish their tasks and depart, however, they take all their contextual knowledge and vital relationships with them. The organisation is then left with limited means to continue embedding the changes, so they often revert to their old patterns.

At the heart of solving this problem is a shift in core mentality: Instead of solely asking “What changes are needed?” also consider “How do we enact these changes to make a lasting impact on the company?”

Rather than presenting some done-for-you service, expert consultants must lead a done-with-you journey that enables the organisation to grow. Quick fixes are band-aid solutions; what teams need are training, coaching, and facilitation skills that permanently develop their change ‘muscles’ on day-to-day operations.

What we propose is a method that better integrates external consultants into the workflow. They can still come in and manually deliver results, but we intertwine that process with a continuous empowering of team members to continue carrying out their transformative measures. 

Ideally, transformation becomes a collaborative effort in what we call the Organisation Change Community.

Transformation success hinges on three primary change agents

Together, these three entities develop a unified vision of “5 Competencies” most essential to driving transformation: Organisational change techniques and ongoing management of strategies, relationships, value, and portfolio. From top to bottom, here are the change agents:

Change Leader

This company-appointed individual is predominantly preoccupied with macro-level alignment, paving the way for sustained future development, coordinating with consultants, team members, and higher executives to deliver excellence in each of the competencies. They work closely with the transformation director to support the transformation and acquire skills to be passed on to the rest of the team.

Change Consultant

This typically external specialist is responsible for applying transformation directly to their competency and/or area of expertise. The dichotomy of this role entails both delivering tangible value and providing training for a natural transition. Thus, the Consultant improves the present while enabling the future.

Change Partner

This is an internal associate whose objective is establishing a more detail-oriented blueprint and embedding the change. They have perhaps moved off of typical daily tasks to focus on making this vision a realistic reality. The Partner is a main recipient of transformative training, and they are tasked with applying these behaviours and techniques in future practice. And thanks to this collaborative chain, doing so is a natural process since the Partner was involved in instilling the change in the first place.

Of course, these roles need not be rigid; depending on the strength of individuals, fluid transitions are encouraged to foster effective change.

The three change agents provide an agile solution for modern businesses

What makes this approach successful is its multifaceted approach to enabling change. With it, an organisation simultaneously aligns its vision, crosses team boundaries, promotes each core competency, and ensures a practical parallel between demand and supply for change.

Ultimately, it tackles the challenge of transformation through an evolving process on the level of individuals, teams, and culture.

We recognise this challenge and have specially formulated an online training and coaching programme to make your transformation a success.We provide online training and coaching in five core competencies that form part of our SDBP® framework. Click here to take advantage of our special offer and join our Spring induction.

Join a Learning Group

Coupon code for 10% discount: spr10%wk3I Valid until 14th Feb 2021.

To learn more about our change agent model, you can download our whitepaper here:

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Beyond The Partner Role
Baxter Thompson Ltd, Jon Baxter
20 January, 2021
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Design the Partner Role....
....before you recruit.