If 70% of change projects fail, why do them?
Guest blog by The Human Resources Consortium
The client was asking a perfectly reasonable question from where he sat as a C-suite executive in a major national corporation. He would never consider involving his company in any activity with such a high probability of failure…
Most organizations charter change projects because the outcome is key to a successful future. They devote lots of time, focus and resources to executing them and won’t abandon them at the first sign of difficulty. Yet, many organizations each year undertake major change projects in defiance of the odds.
When we unpack the headline, there is nuance behind it. The full statement based on research from global business leader McKinsey goes, “70% of change projects fail to meet their goals.” That’s helpful and not helpful at the same time. It is helpful to consider that some portion of that 70% almost achieved their goal. Maybe our project will be one of those that only missed the goal by 5%, and a near miss is good enough. But wait… Which 5% did we miss by?
If it’s the critical 5% that we needed to achieve to attain the value we promised, then few will be interested in the 95% that we did flawlessly.
- If we failed in an area critical to value creation, why did we fail? Did we have a bad plan from the start? Did we do something wrong in the process?
- Is our fail fixable now? When we determine that we missed the goal and that our miss is significant, can we course correct or go back and re-do?
- What are the consequences of our fail?
What change projects have you participated in? When you encountered problems, how did you solve them? How did it all turn out? We’d like to hear your stories, the challenges you’ve faced, and questions you’d like us to answer in our session on January 25.
Shifting into Change Management Overdrive to Win
January 25, 11 am – 12 pm
Join Fran Morton, Change Management Practice Leader, and Regan MacBain Traub, Founder & Managing Principal, when they present an engaging webinar on the art of Change Management and provide solid strategies to support an organization’s ability to effectively adapt or transform.
More about Change Management
Why Use Change Management?
A change management project is to assure that the necessary management, communications, process, behaviors, and operations transition in a timely manner to reinforce the achievement of the goals of the desired change. Change management projects also monitor needs for mid-course correction to assure success. Ultimately, change management projects assure that changes in process and behaviors become the new ‘business as usual’ as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
When Is Change Management Important?
Most often, change management projects run parallel to and support large organizational change. However, in times like the present, when multiple, significant and fast change efforts are occurring and resistance, concern or confusion about change is rising, other levels of organizational change benefit from change management effectiveness.
High Change Management Need
- Organization: reorganization, acquisition/merger/spinoff, new function/department, culture shift (e.g.
- D&I, teams, customer-focus)
- Operations: new technology or significant process change (e.g. de-centralized to centralized)
- Positions: offshoring/out-sourcing, major change in skill requirements, substantive changes to compensation, benefits, or performance management
Medium Change Management Need
- Organization: executive reporting structure change
- Operations: technology upgrade or simplification of existing process
- Positions: movement of staff to a new client or team (no change in nature of responsibility)
Low Change Management Need
- Organization: new manager/function within same department
- Operations: movement of existing process or adding user groups to existing technology
- Positions: changes to requirements or timing of reports (e.g., Board report) or new departmental role
About The Human Resource Consortium
For over 25 years, The Human Resource Consortium’s team has provided expert, integrated, and highly customized HR and Organization Development consulting support to growth-focused organizations including start-ups, mid-caps, and F500.
With exceptional success, including numerous ‘missions impossible,’ The HRC’s team focuses on enabling strategy through aligned culture, people, systems, and practices. Expertise in change management is vital to its work spanning design, development and implementation in:
- Organizational design;
- Culture change including D&I, employee engagement, teaming, customer focus, etc.;
- Leadership alignment and effectiveness;
- Organizational and individual resilience;
- Performance-focused work arrangements (remote, hybrid, and flexible);
- Process efficiency and customer appreciation;
- Engagement and behavioral skill development supporting IT systems’ implementation;
- Highly customized behavioral training that is strategy and culture-centric;
- Retained search for HR and OD leaders and staff; and
- Organizational communications strategies, plans and support.
In sum, we excel in solving organizational challenges to building higher organizational capability and performance through leadership, HR functionality and people. You can learn more about our work and the members of our team on our website: www.thehrc.com.