GCHQ’s ‘Boiling Frogs’ makes for an interesting guide to disruptive organisational change

Written as editor of the New Statesman’s NS Tech and first published here.

GCHQ has only just launched a Twitter account.

You might think that it’s coming very late to the party. Or, indeed, as a historically secretive organisation, this might sound like the very opposite of a good idea.

Either way, a document has surfaced on coding repository GitHub written by three staff at GCHQ entitled ‘GCHQ: Boiling Frogs‘ that actually makes for an interesting analysis of organisational change.

The boiling frogs metaphor is a well-known one and the document has been created to help organisations that are struggling with increasingly disruptive tech change.

Change too slowly, realise to late, and you’ll be boiled alive by a more agile competitor.

“Change is never simple, and this paper doesn’t offer a quick fix, specifically it doesn’t cover how to change a complex organisation or what an end state would look like,” explains Niel Kempson, director of general technology at GCHQ.

“Part of the point of embracing this kind of change is that there isn’t an end state because change is constant.”

The paper looks at the changes needed across 11 key areas, everything from culture to big data, security and HR, in order to manage constant and disruptive change.

It even includes an internal blog post that outlines why there are actually only four jobs in today’s modern workplaces.

Download it here to see what you think.

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