Change...can we afford not to?

Change is sticky and with 70% of change projects failing it’s perhaps no wonder that organisations choose to stay with what they know rather than take an adventure into the unknown.

Whilst 70% of projects may fail, 30% are successful so I guess we have to ask ourselves the question ‘What’s the difference, that makes the difference?” Research tells us that there is a myriad of reasons – lack of a clear vision, ineffectual planning, poor communication, the list can go on and on. Whatever the reasons there is often just one factor that represents the difference between success and failure - PEOPLE.

People can cause a project to fail or they create a successful ending that is far greater than anyone could have imagined.

Several studies by Johns Hopkins University show that 90 percent of post-op coronary artery bypass patients did not change their lifestyle in any way after surgery. If we apply this knowledge to our business surely we have a very good reason for doing what we have always done - if people can’t make changes when their life is at risk, why would they make changes at work?

To do what we have always done and expect different results is according to some the first sign of madness and in this ever-evolving world of ours can we really afford to keep doing the same thing and not respond to changing market conditions and customer demands.

The fact that 30% of all change projects are successful must surely give us hope and actually the recipe for success is simple. Successful change is dependent on change leaders connecting with all those involved and impacted by the change, involving them right from the start even before the scope of the change has been identified and the success criteria defined. It’s also essential to engage with them throughout the change process, creating and implementing a plan that will touch their hearts and minds so they truly understand why the change is necessary. Think about this for a moment…… individuals if we have been involved in identifying the change our business is making and understand the reasons why it is necessary surely we are much more likely to take necessary steps to ensure a successful outcome.  

Having seen this approach be successful in a number of teams and businesses I would urge you to be brave and embrace the opportunities that change offers.