The concept of change management has been in existence for many decades. But despite huge investments by companies, in tools, training, and many books, most studies show a 70% failure rate for organizational change. This statistic is constant from the 1970s to the present.
This evidence has made people rethink the idea of change management. While our basic understanding of this concept may need some rework, the actual reason for its inefficiency is that the managerial capacity to implement change management is highly underdeveloped. This is due to the fact that, instead of strengthening the capability of managers and making them accountable, we have allowed them to outsource change management to HR specialists and consultants.
Obviously, not every company is like this. But if you feel that your organization struggles to effectively implement change, then you might want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a common framework or a set of tools for managing significant change? You should have a common set of definitions and tools that everyone is familiar with. This can prevent misunderstandings when you are trying to manage change.
- Are the planned changes aligned with your work? Your plans for change should be properly integrated into your overall project plans, and not put together separately or in parallel. The main challenge for you is to make change management an integral part of the business plan, and not an add-on that is managed independently.
- Lastly, who is accountable for effective change management in your organization. Is it the managers or any “experts” to whom you have outsourced to? Unless your managers are made accountable for making effective change happen systematically and rigorously — and certain behaviors are rewarded or punished accordingly — they won’t develop their skills.
Everyone agrees that change management is important. However, to make it happen effectively, managers are required to be competent, and accountable and must not pass off their responsibility to others.
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