Thursday, April 26, 2007

Seven Reasons Why Organisational Change Fails

From Tony Kenneson-Adams' website

Seven reasons why 70% of all change and transformation programs, acquisitions and downsizing efforts fail to meet the expectations of the managers that implement them?

1. Change is driven by a symptom not a cause.
Knee-jerk reactions to symptoms without analysis of the true problem. Classic example is is making staff redundant to reduce costs without analysis of costs. If the high costs is because of poor utilisation of machinery, rearranging shift patterns could improve utilisation and increase profits.

2. Businesses don't know where they are before committing to change.
This is like using a map to get from Derby to Bristol when in fact you are sat in Cardiff.

3. Organisations do not plan for success.
The journey from old to new must be clearly planned, milestones achieved and objectives set.

4. Business do not know when they have arrived.
Without a plan and objectives how do you know you have arrived at your new organization, structure target or what ever. Also, unless you measure success, how will you know if the change has improved anything. There is also no better way to disenfranchise your workforce than introducing multiple change and them seeing no real effect.

5. Approaches to change do consider the impact on the business
Change sends ripples across a the whole business and so must be looked at in the context of the whole business.

6. Staff enablers are victims of change.
Far too often the management have decided on the why, when, who, and when, of the change before they think of discussing the change with their staff. However, staff have a vested interest in change and will invest themselves in change if they are brought into the change process early enough. Not only can they suggest how best change can be brought about, as they truly know the 'nuts and bolts of the job, but working with the staff will reduce conflict, change intolerance and resistance.

7. Lack of Management Buy-in.
Management at all levels need to 'buy-in' to the change, and not just those that will be directly affected. By actively seeking buy-in you are adding a multiplication factor for your success, and a line of communication that you may need to access at some point in the change procedure.

Evidence that you are not managing change well include
* Losing valuable managers to other companies for the same or a lesser salary
* Staff suffering from stress related illness
* Managers putting in such long hours for a diminishing return
* Spending large amounts of money changing process and structure without improving the bottom line to the planned extent

Andy Brazier

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