Brunel University has announced the opening of The BT Lab at Brunel Business School. This collaboration between BT and the Brunel Business School is part of an ongoing relationship to test and challenge ideas and theories on improved change management methods in uncertain times.
BT, the global telecoms service provider, recognises that changing its business model and culture requires professional change management expertise. It is in the process of undertaking a strategic transformation by moving from a product focus to customer centricity in an effort to reduce churn in an increasingly competitive market. BT is responding proactively to pressures caused by the economic crisis as well as the pressures of competition, globalisation and regulation.
Whilst some of this knowledge and expertise can be introduced on a consultancy basis, Brunel and BT recognise the need for organic change from within the organisation. Without this, large scale change management programmes will continue to fail leaving UK industry in a weakened and disadvantaged position.
According to Roel Louwhoff, CEO at BT Operate, “Change Management is crucial to our business strategy, particularly in uncertain times. This is a great opportunity for Brunel to support industry by helping develop significant and practical change practitioner capabilities and, as a result, we are delighted and honoured to be opening this Lab to further our support and deepen our relationship with Brunel.“
Brunel Business School's range of Executive Development programmes addresses the needs of change practitioners. Brunel Business School's Executive Development offerings combine the latest academic thinking with practical tools and methods for implementing change. BT, along with Friends Provident, Volkswagen Financial Services, Network Rail and the Department for Children, Schools and Families are members of Nexus, a change management research club led by Brunel Professor Ashley Braganza.
Change leaders from these organisations collaborate, test and challenge ideas and theories to co-create new change management methods. In the process, each of these organisations develops their own in-house change capabilities. The BT Lab provides a forum for enabling managers to develop their skills and competencies.
According to Professor Zahir Irani, Head of Brunel Business School, “The theories behind change management are still routed in archaic practices dating 50 years, so we need to update our thinking to reflect the current environment. We are working with BT and these other organisations because the ideas of change management are not unique to one environment but common across all sectors. All these organisations face the same issues in change management; by bringing them all together we are helping them learn from each other.“
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