This Chart Shows Why So Many Change Management Efforts Fail
It’s a truism of change management that it’s easier to change a troubled organization than it is a successful one. Why? Because, in a troubled organization, remaining in the status quo seems pretty unappealing.
But in successful organizations, employees are more likely to question the very need for change. They often ask, "We’ve been doing so well, why would we change what’s made us so successful?"
The answer is that there are challenges, either now or in the future, that require us to change. Every company faces challenges; even Google and Apple face challenges. And that brings us to the chart.
We asked 30,000 employees to rate the statement: “This organization openly shares the challenges facing it.” Here's how people responded...
This data clearly shows that the majority of leaders are NOT doing a good job of explaining the challenges facing their organizations. In fact, only 35% of leaders are Always or Frequently sharing challenges, and that means that nearly two-thirds of leaders are missing this essential ingredient of change management.
There are leaders operating under the mistaken idea that if they share the challenges facing the organization, they’ll be seen as negative or pessimistic. But nothing could be further from the truth. Sharing challenges and then saying, "Here’s how we’re going to tackle them" is actually pretty positive.
And you don’t always have to be the one sharing the challenges facing the organization.Imagine that you started asking your employees to keep up to date on changes happening in your industry, and that at every staff meeting you asked one of your employees to share what challenges they see coming.
With an exercise like this, you wouldn’t just have employees with a keen awareness of looming challenges, but you’d have employees with ownership of those challenges.
ONE FINAL NOTE:
A famous Leadership IQ study found that mismanaging change is the #1 reason why executives get fired! And a Harvard study found that 70% of change efforts fail!
So be sure to check out our online course called The Science of Leading Change. You'll get a step-by-step plan & scripts to accelerate your change management process, and reframe your communications to make change more appealing. And learn to manage peoples’ emotions about change so they feel excited, instead of scared!
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