In our past few articles, we have described many facets of change. Our “hands on” real-world experiences, along with our developed expertise, have been well utilized across a diversity of industries over many years—helping our customers become more successful through positive impacts of their bottom line.
We have seen various examples of change models. Some have been with us for many years, and many people leading change believe that if they were to follow such a model they would experience a positive and successful change outcome. In our view, not one singular change model can be a total solution, although change management models are useful because they provide a basis, an understanding and a roadmap for a change process. There is really not one change model that aligns perfectly for any one change scenario. Frankly, one cannot make a conclusive generalization about what will happen during a change process, as there are complex organizational, social, people, and other systems at play, which render definitive planning as unpredictable.
Readying leaders, team optimization, implementing change and illustrating examples through case studies have all been topics that we have shared with you. We continually research the marketplace and have found—as you have as well—that there are a proliferation of information sources on the processes and procedures of making a change initiative successful. According to a 2013 Strategy&/Katzenbach Center survey of global senior executives on culture and change management, the success rate of major change initiatives is only 54 percent. This is far too low. The costs are high when change efforts go wrong—not only financially but in confusion, lost opportunity in the transition, wasted resources, and diminished morale. That said the elements at the beginning of this paragraph are constants throughout. Know them. Learn from them.
Here are 10 guiding principles that offer a powerful template for leaders committed to effecting sustained transformational change. The work required can be arduous and exacting. But the need for major change initiatives is only going to become more urgent. It behooves us all to get it right.
What we have continually found is that change is anything but conventional and it always leads to better things. Leaders need to recognize this fact and approach any change initiative with an open, flexible and adaptable mind. The basic steps for a change project will remain; however, the complexity of managing that change will expand and contract depending on the scope, business processes, number of people affected, and many other factors. Be prepared, aware, intuitive and resourceful and you should experience a successful outcome to your project.
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