While financial services companies view change as a continuous journey that has to be balanced with ongoing operations, the development sector’s raison d’être is to drive change through targeted interventions with an end date. As a result, development sector organisations may not offer their support based in a way that is fully aligned to the institutions’ change dynamics. We identified two key challenges; change is less effective when supported via fragmented interventions, and many interventions do not integrate “change management” in the form of holistic impact analysis, stakeholder engagement and realistic implementation planning.
We found promising examples where the development sector organisation structures interventions in a way that focuses on long-term objectives and includes change enablement and stakeholder management. Specific projects can be delivered by different professional services providers, but a relationship management role by the development partner can ensure the continuity and change enablement that has typically only been available to larger institutions (where professional services firms invest in account management). In many cases, intervention support for larger banks goes through CSR departments. If the objective is to catalyse market development at scale, our research indicates that stakeholders from commercial operations need to become more involved.