Research has found that over 70% of all change initiatives fail. In a world of accelerating change you and your organization have to adapt. As leading management guru, Professor Gary Hamel said: “Today, the most important question for any organization is this: are we changing as fast as the world around us”
The problem is that the odds are not in your favour, but here are three tips to help tip them in your favour.
- Establish a Greater Purpose – does everyone share a common and clear purpose which staff understand, articulate, and for which they understand how what they do contributes to it? Is there a strong story underpinning the purpose to which people are aligned with and can share with others? Stories are powerful ways by which to create memories and emotional connections and a strong story makes your purpose even more powerful.
- Ensure Consistent Decision-Making – you need to be able to transform your existing values into decision principles. For example, you have a core value of customer satisfaction. So, when decision-making one of the core principles that will guide your decision is “Will the decision I make increase or improve customer satisfaction?” This makes it easier for everyone to make decisions that are consistent and aligned both in terms of what you do and how you do it. Your principles are specific and enable others to make decisions for themselves rather than making decisions for others, or delegating decision to Creating consistency in your decision-making creates alignment, leverage and synergies.
- Build Distributed Leadership – do you have leaders (formal and informal) at all levels who are catalysts and exemplars for other people, and who stimulate the behaviours, attitudes and decisions for successful change. You cannot ‘lead change’, only ‘followers of change’ by creating an environment where others are aligned and engage with the change initiative and are personally committed to it being successful.
Do you have these three elements in place before you start any change initiative?
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