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Most change programs fail, but the odds of success can be greatly improved by taking into account these counterintuitive insights about how employees interpret their environment and choose to act.
In 1996, John Kotter published Leading Change . Considered by many to be the seminal work in the field of change management, Kotter’s research revealed that only 30 percent of change programs succeed. Since the book’s release, literally thousands of books and journal articles have been published on the topic, and courses dedicated to managing change are now part of many major MBA programs. Yet in 2008, a McKinsey survey of 3,199 executives around the world found, as Kotter did, that only one transformation in three succeeds. Other studies over the past ten years reveal remarkably similar results. It seems that, despite prolific output, the field of change management hasn’t led to more successful change programs.
It also hasn’t helped that most academics and practitioners now agree on the building blocks for influencing employee attitudes and management behavior. McKinsey’s Emily Lawson and Colin Price provided a holistic perspective in “The psychology of change management,” 1 which suggests that...
Management expert Robert Sutton shares lessons on handling layoffs and teams in crisis. This is a Conversation Starter, one in a series of invited opinions on topical issues. Layoffs, pay cuts, and organizational reordering have become widespread realities in the downturn. In this video interview, management professor and author Robert Sutton offers his advice on how to be a good boss in today’s difficult climate. Watch the interview and then share your thoughts on Sutton’s lessons—and what your own experience has taught you about leadership in the crisis