I Don’t Want to Be A Statistic
You’re aware of the +70% failure rate of organizational change, and two clear reasons why:
The change program didn’t align with the current culture, and/or
The fundamental cause of ‘conventional command and control’ mindset.
If you want to lead, work, and contribute to an organization moving forward through the 21st Century, then the Executive team must relenquish the linear perspective so many have. Quit trying to get a new result with an outdated model.
The 35-year old model is broken. Let it go! At some point, you must dust off the past that’s not delivering the results you must have and adopt a better, faster and healthier methodology. ‘Back in the day’, the established generation commonly echoed – Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. With us boomers as the established generation, we must release our stubborn pride and arrogance and Lead Elegantly!
No one can tell ‘the others’ – the employee population – what to change or force them to change while they are excluded or disengaged. Change initiatives cannot be rolled out top-down, causing resistance as it deviates from ‘the way we do things around here.’ Many change projects don’t make abstract values operational nor do they translate into behavioral changes that are sustainable.
“But, it’s worked before,” many of you have said. Sure, and that’s a guarantee it may not work any longer. How do you expect to drive results forward by keeping your eyes in the rearview mirror? There’s thousands of failures that are well known by consultants and coaches, and many organizations still seem to entertain this mindset.
“People are the key to successful organizational change because they have to change personal behaviors, beliefs, and meanings or nothing will change at all.”
Clients come to us when they’re ‘stuck’ or their previous consultant didn’t deliver the expected outcome. Some of these same people ask me to, ‘…just change it [the organization’s culture] for me.’ And, some further want me to deliver a precise schedule, budget and define exact outcomes: which goals will be reached by when?
This is the definition of linear, command and control mindset. If I could deliver in this exact method, what the hell do we need your entire Executive team for? How about I come in as interim CEO, since you can’t deliver or are nose-blind to whats required? Arrogant? Consider re-reading the expectation from the mindset that you’re not in control of culture and you need – must have – the employee population DRIVE the change. Your one job is to support and facilitate the change and get the hell out of the way.
“The number one obstacle to success for major change projects is employee resistance and the ineffective management of the people side of change.” – The Prosci Best Practices in Change Management Benchmarking Study, 2009
My arguement for change is based on a culture of positive, forward-looking leadership, and the rhythm of ego, results and relationships of change. Here’s the new mindset:
Organizations practice inclusiveness and ask everyone to contribute to change.
Accept complexity – self-organization within boundaries.
Accept the nebulous – change one simple, powerful habit to create a vastly different outcome.
Leverage systems theory and critical mass to change behaviors in its entireity.
Acknowledge and discover opportunities to emerge you couldn ‘t see before.
Employ and support Change Circles to establish, develop and sustain Change.
Culture and climate is a major obstacle to change; keeping people embedded in their comfortable habits. Moving from the pain of the known to the uncertainty of the unknown is a significant step requiring an impartial sounding board to support and facilitate your leadership efforts.
Because of group dynamics, the people in our small groups tend to copy, coach, and correct each other to keep things the same. Why? Because it’s a known – it’s comfortable. This powerful copy mechanism in small groups – change circles – can be reversed: to practice new ways of doing and thinking! People are the key to successful organizational change because they have to change personal behaviors, beliefs, and meanings or nothing will change at all.
96% of people believe culture change is needed in their organization in some form, and 51% need a major culture overhaul. – Booz, Allen & Company Survey/Strategy&