CAARMA in the Field
By Jim Wright
At Evans Incorporated, all of our employees, and most of our clients, are quite familiar with our home grown methodology for driving organizational change: CAARMA. Examples of the types of challenges CAARMA is engineered to overcome include:
- Disparate groups of stakeholders with an unwillingness to work together towards a greater good for the organization they collectively support
- Overcoming ‘Cultures of No’ where any change to current policies, procedures or processes is viewed with skepticism if not outright resistance
- Poor recognition or understanding of how stakeholders contribute to the mission of an organization
- Fear of new technology and perceptions about the implications of new technology solutions on job security
- Poor mechanisms – both ‘sticks’ and ‘carrots’ – for incentivizing staff to accept change
All change initiatives are associated with an impact to performance as people adjust to the ‘new’ work environment. CAARMA focuses on reducing the dip in performance associated with change and increasing the speed with which the desired performance is attained.
The six key elements of our CAARMA methodology include:
Communicate — Planning for and delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time and responding to feedback from those impacted by the change
Align — Focusing vision, mission, and goals towards the desired outcomes
Assign — Positioning the people at all levels of the organization to embrace the change and adopt new processes, structures, roles and responsibilities
Redesign — Planning for business transformation to achieve targeted outcomes and improved business performance
Monitor & Adjust — Launching, implementing, and monitoring a change effort, and assessing the effectiveness of the transformation using established metrics.
Our clients benefit from CAARMA from multiple perspectives. Our methodology to managing transformative change initiatives is to not only increase the return on investment by maximizing the realization of targeted benefits. CAARMA also is engineered to reduce the dips in performance associated with a change initiative and to decrease the time it takes to accrue targeted performance improvements. .
Evans has a long history (14 years!) of supporting international financial institutions (IFIs), such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, to drive change with an emphasis on making the complex and challenging simple and solvable. We recently have begun leveraging our domestic support of IFIs to apply ‘CAARMA in the Field’ in delivering a range of change management capacity building services.
We offer a multifaceted approach to driving change in the international development context. Our vision for CAARMA in support of international development is to:
Not only make any tactical change management effort an unequivocal success; it is also about creating independent organizations receptive to change and resilient to the impacts of change.
In order to realize the above vision for ‘CAARMA in the Field’, our approach is to not only deliver a range of services to support a targeted change effort, such as the implementation of a new financial management information system (FMIS), but to also build the capacity of our local partners through targeted training in the areas of PMO Strategy; Change and Communications Management; Organizational Development; Business Process Analysis & Reengineering; IT Strategy; and Stakeholder Engagement. The goal is to equip local partners to independently manage change efforts themselves. We manage the tactical change of a transformative effort while also delivering training to targeted Change Agents. Over time, we quickly transition to the role of coaches, shadowing nascent enablers of change, or Change Agents, until we work ourselves out of a job.
Evans recently hired a new Director of our International Practice, Richard Hudson, who brings decades of experience effectively driving change in the international development arena. Richard will be leading our efforts to take CAARMA to the Field. We are very excited about the prospects of applying our successful approaches to building high performing teams in support of multilateral and bilateral partners who are undertaking and sponsoring large-scale change initiatives around the world. To that end, we recently secured a new international engagement supporting the Global Fund Initiative to combat AIDS/HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria.