Reorganization Without Tears

Under nearly any circumstance, reorganizations consume a great deal of time and energy, including emotional energy. When proper communication plans are in place, though, leaders can at least reduce unnecessary anxiety and unproductive wheel-spinning. Planning should start long before employees get word of the changes, include constituents well outside the boundaries of the company, and extend far beyond the announcement of the concept design to … [ Read more ]

Richard Hooker

Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.

The Four Building Blocks of Change

Four key actions influence employee mind-sets and behavior. Here’s why they matter.

Paul Saffo

It takes 30 years for a new idea to seep into the culture. Technology does not drive change. It is our collective response to the options and opportunities presented by technology that drives change.

Us versus Them: Reframing Resistance to Change

Anyone attempting to lead change in an organization knows to expect some resistance. Change is not a rational process; no matter how positive the future you are creating, it’s natural for humans to struggle with it. Faced with negative remarks, critical questions, or stony silence, change champions naturally begin to interact more with those already on board, consciously or unconsciously distancing themselves from those who … [ Read more ]

Overcome Resistance to Change with Two Conversations

The biggest hurdle to effective organizational change is people. A core part of your job as a leader is to help others overcome the inherent, very human bias toward maintaining the status quo. You first need to identify who — that is, which individuals and groups — have the biggest potential to thwart positive change. Then you have to unstick them. Doing so begins with … [ Read more ]

The Science of Organizational Transformations

New survey results find that the most effective transformation initiatives draw upon four key actions to change mind-sets and behaviors.

Changing Change Management

Research tells us that most change efforts fail. Yet change methodologies are stuck in a predigital era. It’s high time to start catching up.

Susan Cramm

In thinking about change, I like to use a simple three-part framework: capturing attention, securing approval, and orchestrating adoption. Like any simplifying framework, this has limitations. But it has one primary benefit: It emphasizes the need to go slow to go fast. What do I mean? Investing sufficient time and effort to gain attention and secure approval will increase the likelihood that organizations will adopt … [ Read more ]

How to Beat the Transformation Odds

Transformational change is still hard, according to a new survey. But a focus on communicating, leading by example, engaging employees, and continuously improving can triple the odds of success.

Digital Hives: Creating a Surge Around Change

Online communities are helping companies engage with employees to accelerate change.

10 Principles of Organizational Culture

Companies can tap their natural advantage when they focus on changing a few important behaviors, enlist informal leaders, and harness the power of employees’ emotions.

Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini

Today’s organizations were simply never designed to change proactively and deeply—they were built for discipline and efficiency, enforced through hierarchy and routinization. As a result, there’s a mismatch between the pace of change in the external environment and the fastest possible pace of change at most organizations. If it were otherwise, we wouldn’t see so many incumbents struggling to intercept the future.

Five Reasons Most Companies Fail at Strategy Execution

If your organizational culture has these five characteristics, all attempts to implement strategic change will likely be doomed.

Finding the “Herbie” in Your Change Initiative

Eli Goldratt’s 1984 classic, The Goal, introduced his “theory of constraints,” the idea that, in the face of interdependencies and variability, maximizing the activity of each part in a system reduces the output of the system. Drawing on the analogy of a scout troop on a hike, Goldratt showed that only one factor determined how fast they would get to their destination: the speed of … [ Read more ]

Edward E. Lawler III and Christopher G. Worley

Organizations need to pay individuals for their skills and knowledge, not for their jobs. In a work situation in which people have changing task assignments, paying the person according to their market value is much more effective than paying the job, particularly when it comes to retaining the right people. When all is said and done, it is people that have a market value, not … [ Read more ]

Lars Faeste, Jim Hemerling, Perry Keenan, Martin Reeves

Each [change] leader should be assessed for past performance, current readiness, and future potential across four dimensions: knowledge, soft skills, experience, and motivation and personality traits. Leaders also must have a foundation in adaptability and change leadership. A shortcoming in any one of these can be a warning sign.

However, the right leaders will fill roles in varying ways throughout the journey, from champion of the … [ Read more ]

Perry Keenan, Kimberly Powell, Huib Kurstjens, Michael Shanahan, Mike Lewis, Massimo Busetti

The process of identifying and prioritizing stakeholders by their level of support for the change effort and their degree of influence in the organization promotes targeted engagement. We find that in many cases, influential supporters are underleveraged and skeptics underengaged. Effective stakeholder engagement sees business leaders arming influential supporters as change agents, giving them the information and messages they need to influence the organization. At … [ Read more ]

A Way to Assess and Prioritize Your Change Efforts

Boston Consulting Group has created a change management tool called the DICE assessment, which they have been refining since they first wrote about it in HBR a decade ago, and a version of which is now available for online use.

With the aid of the DICE tool, companies can assess the probability of success of change initiatives early in their lives. By evaluating projects with a … [ Read more ]

Transformation: The Imperative to Change

As volatility and complexity rise, transformation has become an imperative for most companies, meaning fundamental changes to the strategy, operating model, organization, people, and processes. To transform, companies must take three steps: funding the journey, winning in the medium term, and establishing the right team, organization, and culture.