Consulting » Business leaders concerned by lack of change capabilities

UK BUSINESSES are becoming more focused on change initiatives as they reorganise to take advantage of the recovery, but remain plagued by a dearth of skills, according to a survey of 200 FTSE board members.

The third annual Barometer of Change report from consultants Moorhouse found that accessing the skills, experience and capabilities needed to deliver on transformation projects is a growing concern among UK business leaders.

From 2013 to 2014 the proportion of leaders saying that they need new skills and capability to deliver the strategy to a great extent has more than doubled (18% in 2014 compared to 8% in 2013). At the same time, the percentage that are at least very confident they will be able to access these skills has dropped to only around a third (35%) compared to almost half (47%) in 2013.

“Without access to the rights skills and capabilities, even the best business plan will not succeed. Organisations should have already planned where they will get the skilled resources they need, as access to the right capability is set to become a major bottleneck for the delivery of transformation programmes,” said Stephen Vinall, managing director at Moorhouse.

Overall, respondents said their organisations are becoming more agile, with almost three times as many saying their business is “change-embracing” compared to twelve months ago (19% in 2014 compared to 7% in 2013). Almost 60% now say they feel they can deliver transformation programmes and initiatives to budget and on time, compared with just over 40% in previous years.

“As confidence in the economy grows, the smart organisations are shifting to a more focused portfolio of products and services. But having a clearer strategy alone will not guarantee business success,” said Vinall.