“Healthy Organization” Foundation #5: Growing and Profitable.
The world is changing rapidly. Some markets are living with “hyper-competition”, not just your every day, annoying competition. The ability to quickly implement effective change initiatives as market conditions demand has become a key component of your Sustainable Competitive Advantage. Yet, if you run a Google search on “change initiatives success”, you’ll find countless articles that remind us that more than 70% of change initiatives fail or never come close to their intended level of success. The cost to organizations is tremendous! What can you do to make sure your organization is “tuned up” to effectively launch and implement a successful change initiative?
Recent research* resulted in a model that shows 10 factors in 3 main categories define the probability of success for any given initiative. The 3 categories of organizational behavior and structure contributing to change success are:
- Readiness (30%): How ready the organization and the people within the organization are to implement change.
- Capability (40%): The skills, people, training and resources needed to implement change.
- Beliefs (30%): The overall attitude of the organization in relation to the change.
All of the factors are interrelated and contribute to the ultimate potential for success. Using this framework, you can analyze where the “gaps” are in your organizational readiness for launching any major change initiative. Or, you can do what many organizations do and set a change process in place without ensuring all of these factors have been addressed.
With banners flying and troops assembled, you engage in battle. (And battle it is! The hardest thing you will ever do as a manager or leader is to try to change an organization.) You experience enthusiasm and progress and then, the inevitable setbacks. After a period of time, which may literally be years, the tendency is to take whatever gains have been won, declare victory and move on to the next battle.
This “seat-of-the-pants” approach is very costly both in financial and people terms. If, however, you can improve each of the 10 elements in the change success model BEFORE launching the initiative, the probability of success is likely to rise significantly above the normal 30% benchmark resulting in lower costs, faster implementation and improved team morale and confidence. The challenge for leaders is to identify where the key gaps are in the 10 elements and to put in place specific action plans and key performance indicators to bridge those gaps. Are you up to the task?
A detailed video explanation of the model by the researcher can be found at change success model
*Mason, C. L. (2014). “A Mixed Methods Study on How Change Intentions and Change Readiness Predict Organizational Change Success”