Most change initiatives fail. Yours don’t have to.
Lead Change— Successfully, 3rd Edition
Included with this collection: 2 The Hard Side of Change Management by Harold L. Sirkin, Perry Keenan, and Alan Jackson
15 Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail
by John P. Kotter
26 Cracking the Code of Change
by Michael Beer and Nitin Nohria
37 Managing Change: The Art of Balancing
by Jeanie Daniel Duck
Seventy percent of all change initiatives fail. Why? We commit fatal errors; for instance, overlooking the need to create a compelling vision or score short-term wins that build momentum for further successes. Under pressure to demonstrate results quickly, we may skip crucial steps in the change process—such as establishing the right project-team configuration and conducting frequent milestone reviews. In some cases, we wrongly assume that change is all about improving the hard numbers—stock price, profitability, sales. We forget that successful transformation also generates “soft” benefits such as new skills and more effective teamwork. Even as we strive for hard and soft results, additional perils await us: Painful emotions that boil up in our workforces whenever we ask people to think or do things differently. Whether it’s anger, alarm, or alienation, we must ease those feelings by cultivating an environment of trust and empowerment. Nothing about leading change is easy. But this Harvard Business Review OnPoint collection offers ideas for tackling the biggest challenges—and avoiding the most dangerous pitfalls.
3 Article Summary 4 The Hard Side of Change Management
by Harold L. Sirkin, Perry Keenan, and Alan Jackson Change projects can’t succeed unless you establish four essential elements before launch: 1) Frequent milestone reviews. Long projects reviewed frequently succeed more than short projects reviewed rarely. 2) Project teams’ skill. Assemble cross-functional teams of people who value results, tolerate ambiguity, and possess organizational savvy. 3) Commitment. Visibly endorse the initiative—no amount of support is too much. 4) Employee relief. Ensure that workloads don’t increase more than 10%.
14 Further Reading 16 Article Summary 17 Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail by John P. Kotter Kotter advocates eight steps to ensure a change effort’s success: 1) Create a sense of urgency by broadcasting a dramatic message of crisis or opportunity across your organization. 2) Form a powerful guiding coalition comprising top leaders and others with power to lead the effort. 3) Define a compelling vision to direct the effort. 4) Communicate the vision through multiple vehicles. 5) Empower others to act on the vision. 6) Score shortterm successes to build momentum. 7) Use early successes to change systems and policies undermining the vision. 8) Institutionalize new approaches.
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27 Article Summary 28 Cracking the Code of Change
by Michael Beer and Nitin Nohria Successful transformation generates both financial and nonfinancial benefits. Consider Archie Norman’s change leadership at U.K. grocery chain ASDA. As new CEO, Norman embraced the paradox between the economic value and new organizational capabilities change promises. How? He told employees, “Our number-one objective is to secure value for our shareholders” and “We need a culture built around common ideas and listening, learning, and speed of response—from the stores upwards.” Under Norman’s leadership, ASDA achieved an eightfold increase in shareholder value and a more open, trusting culture.
38 Article Summary 39 Managing Change: The Art of Balancing
by Jeanie Daniel Duck How to mitigate the painful emotions that change provokes? Establish a Transition Management Team. Your TMT orchestrates early...