Changing the Change Rules at Google

There is no single way that Google manages internal change, like a reorganization. But we’ve been piloting a new approach that has been used in different parts of the company, impacting thousands of Googlers. After piloting and iterating on our work, we came up with a four-step approach to business-driven organizational change we call “ChangeRules.” Four analytical questions drive this approach: Why? What? Who? How? … [ Read more ]

The 6 Personalities of Change Rejection

Is it any wonder that so many of us are scared of change?

Before we completed our research into this phenomenon, I often wondered how rational and intelligent people could make such sloppy and irrational arguments against obvious improvements.

Today, I have a much better idea why people resist the inevitable. If you’re unsure why those around you are having such a difficult time embracing a new … [ Read more ]

Research: To Get People to Embrace Change, Emphasize What Will Stay the Same

In overcoming resistance to change and building support for change, leaders need to communicate an appealing vision of change in combination with a vision of continuity. Unless they are able to ensure people that what defines the organization’s identity — “what makes us who we are” — will be preserved despite the changes, leaders may have to brace themselves for a wave of resistance.

How to Find and Engage Authentic Informal Leaders

Authentic informal leaders (AILs) are not people in your organization who have been endowed with formal authority by title or by memo. Rather, they possess and exhibit certain leadership strengths such as the ability to do something important well and showing others how to do it (exemplars), or they demonstrate the skill of connecting people across the organization (networkers). Some AILs influence behavior by being … [ Read more ]

Strategic Change Is All in the Timing

Large organizations have many different heartbeats, and change managers need to listen to them all.

Change Management Is Becoming Increasingly Data-Driven. Companies Aren’t Ready

Data science is becoming a reality for change management, and although it may not have arrived yet, it is time for organizations to get ready. The companies best positioned to change in the next decade will be the ones that set themselves up well now, by collecting the right kind of data and investing in their analytics capacity.

The key to building predictive models is knowing … [ Read more ]

Keeping Transformations on Target

Analysis of high-stakes transformations reveals a few pragmatic lessons that increase the odds of meeting the organization’s objectives.

How to Communicate Clearly During Organizational Change

Why is it so hard for leaders to send clear, effective signals to followers? There are three main ways in which leaders too often send confusing signals to their organizations. Get them right, and you can signal clearly and effectively; fail to pay attention to how and what you are signaling in these three modes, and you will have confusion at best — and at … [ Read more ]

An Operating Model for Company-Wide Agile Development

The benefits of agile are by now well known. Under agile development methodologies, IT organizations and product developers cocreate products and services with the business, rather than simply collecting feature specifications and throwing them back over the wall, as would happen under the waterfall development model. Teams can experiment with minimally viable products, test and learn from those prototypes, and ultimately deliver new software features … [ Read more ]

Turning Change Upside Down: How New Insights are Changing Old Assumptions

Many executives believe organizational change is an inherently messy, chaotic process. Without a doubt, change can derail business. But that’s because leaders have been managing it using faulty assumptions and outdated mental models. Learn how today’s wealth of data and powerful analytics capabilities have uncovered predictable patterns of how organizational change unfolds.

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 ]

The Four Building Blocks of Change

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

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.

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.

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.