This is the third in a series of posts adapted from Scott Keller & Colin Price's new book, Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage . The first post described two counter-intuitive insights about creating lasting change in organizations -- that common sense can sometimes lead you astray, and that the "soft" stuff can be managed as rigorously as the "hard" stuff in organizations. The second post discussed ways to use social media and viral marketing within organizations to sustain change programs.
You know your organization needs to change. You've developed a strategic view about where you need to go and you've matched that up with an understanding of the changes that will require in your culture. You've thought very hard about organizational mindsets and personal behaviors that will need to shift to get there. Now, you actually have to do something to shift them.
Getting anyone to change is hard. Getting a whole organization to change can seem nearly impossible. Yet that's exactly what most organizations need to do to continue to thrive. Over a few decades of working with all kinds of organizations--businesses,...
You've begun to make major changes at your company. Maybe you've decided to restructure your business to reach new markets or perhaps you're cutting costs in response to a crisis.
You know that rallying your employees is central to making this change work, and you've done a lot to engage them. They understand why change is necessary and offered their input into achieving these goals, for example. But now you need to sustain their energy and sense of ownership over the months or years it will take to see results. Too often, cynicism, parochialism, and exhaustion get in the way.
But when employees have a sense of personal ownership, they're much more likely to give their all to any organization. This is particularly important when you're going through a long-term, organization-wide change program.
Offering formal incentives and accountability are part of the answer, but a company's culture is equally important. The energy to actually change over months or years before seeing any results has to come from the grassroots.
We've seen tactics from the field of viral marketing help avoid what we sometimes call "the valley of desolation." Since viral communication...
Only a third of excellent companies remain excellent over the long term. Even fewer change programs succeed. These are the facts, yet these need not be the odds of success for your organization. Insightful advice (beyond common sense) and pragmatic methods (readily applicable) are available to help almost any leader and organization create successful transformation and sustain excellence.
This post describes two counterintuitive insights about creating lasting change, based on more than a decade of research and client work, including input from more than 600,000 senior executives and employees in 500 organizations, hands-on work with more than 100 organizations, and research drawn from more than 900 books and academic articles. (For more detailed insights, please see our book Beyond Performance: How great organizations build ultimate competitive advantage .) Other posts in this series will describe how any organization can improve its performance and its health simultaneously, and a couple of useful tools for implementing change.
Common sense will often lead you astray
Much of current thinking on change management appeals to common sense. This should raise alarm bells. Leaders who rely on their common sense when influencing change typically spend time and energy on the wrong things,...