It’s All About Change!
“The Only Constant in Life Is Change.”- Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, circa 500bc.
Whether specific change initiatives, or Strategy Execution changes, the biggest challenge today is, Change is no longer simple or linear. Change today is Complex, Continuous, and Transformational”.
“Change efforts fail 50-70% of the time”
Research by John Kotter in 1995 revealed that only 30 percent of change programs succeed, and this has not changed since then. And, research by IBM and HBR, amongst others, revealed that only 10% to 30% of organisational strategies are successful. Many years on, nothing has changed. According to McKinsey research and others, the same success rate still holds true today. And that despite the sophisticated change management systems introduced over that period.
“Organisational Strategies fail 70% to 90% of the time”
Change is no longer a single event to map out and go through, despite the popular models that lead us to think that way. In most organisations today, change is Complex , Continuous, Transformational, Simultaneous, Interrelated, and Unpredictable. This kind of change is defined as “a series of overlapping, never-ending, planned, and unplanned changes that are interdependent, difficult to execute, and either can’t — or shouldn’t — be ignored.”
If complex change management is what you need, change management, as we have understood it in the past, is not the solution. It is unlikely to lead to change readiness, and unlikely to lead to commitment, sustainability and success.
Complex, Continuous, Transformational Change (CCTC)
In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing business environment, success will depend on the ability to unlock organisational resilience and adaptability.
The figure below is an indication of the types of Complex, Continuous, Transformational Changes that organisations are facing, simultaneously and at scale, today and going forward.
Strategy Execution– the execution of the organisations strategy and strategic plan to achieve the strategy and goals of the organistion.
Business Model Transformation – drives the business and operating model changes required to enable an organisation to achieve its strategic vision now, and into the future.
Digital Transformation – the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how the organisation operates and delivers value to customers.
Agile Transformation – is not merely adopting agile methodologies and processes – it is the process of transitioning an entire organisation to a nimble, reactive, dynamic approach based on agile principles.
Work-from-Anywhere Transformation – a flexible approach to working, where an organisation empowers their employees to work productively and autonomously from anywhere, while remaining aligned and connected with company culture and goals.
Cloud Migration – the process of moving an organisation’s digital and IT assets, services, databases, resources, and applications either partially, or fully, into the cloud.
Mergers and Acquisitions – the integration of the assets of two or more organisations with the primary objective of stabilising the current business and then building future organisational value.
Scaling Up – when startups have built a product, created a strong brand identity, and established a market, they are ready to look at growth where scale is achieved by increasing revenue without incurring significant costs.
As the figure indicates, all these transformations also require culture and people transformation – some similarly and others very differently. They simply cannot be undertaken as multiple linear change initiatives.
Why Change Fails
Why do so many programs fail? The main reasons are not to do with resources or budgets, but behaviour. Specifically, employee resistance and management behaviours that do not support the intended changes. In short – a failure at the culture and people level. Between them, these two factors account for more than 70 percent of failures.
And these failures come at a high cost – lost impact, employee fatigue, and squandered effort if a transformation has to be extended – or, worse, restarted.
And yet, we persist in still trying to do change the traditional ways.
“Insanity – Doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.” Alfred Einstein
The other interest fact about these statistics is, Change Management, has, traditionally, been seen as the application of a structured process and set of tools for leading the people side of change to achieve a desired outcome. Yet, the “people side of change” accounts for 70% of the failures.
Change is Changing – It’s time for us to change the way we look a change!
Holistic Change Facilitation
Harvard Business School define Change Management as “the process of guiding organisational change to fruition, from the earliest stages of conception and preparation, through implementation and, finally, to resolution.
This is a far more “holistic” view of change and change management. The “people side of change” should not be a separate process geared more to “forcing” the change than have people as part of the whole change process.
That is exactly the process that we have designed in our Living and L♥ving Change™ program. We work with the readiness of the organisation and the people for change, and then involve them in the planning and preparation phases. This reduces resistence and other inappropriate behaviours and results in more successful and sustainable change.
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