Leading Successful Change Initiatives

There are many good books on how organizations can make change initiatives work well. Two of my favorites are “Who Moved my Cheese” by Spencer Johnson and “Our Iceberg is Melting” by John Kotter. These simple parable-type books make a compelling case for how easy it can be to make rapid change in large organizations.

But it is really not easy at all because the vast majority of change initiatives in corporations are dismal failures. They fail to produce more than a tiny fraction of the intended result and are often very expensive “programs” that actually serve to lower rather than raise trust. I set out a list of 9 groundrules for successful change. Some of these are similar to other author’s concepts and some are unique. Here is my list:

1.Demonstrate an urgent need for change
2.Communicate a compelling vision of the future
3.Create the right environment before starting training programs – no mechanical fix to problems
4.Draw on the diverse ideas that are available
5.Be willing to accept risk – fosters creativity
6.Reinforce the small wins along the way
7.Integrate the new methods well into the culture
8.Demonstrate constancy of purpose over time – avoid jumping from one “program” to another
9.Understand the psychology of change

For those who are interested in more detail, the attached white paper has additional information from my first book.

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