Why aren't we better at organisational change?

Updated: Nov 1, 2019


Hearts and Minds

After 20? 30? or more years since change success has been measured there is still a 70% fail rate! Why?


Perhaps it's because we generally think about change as an 'Approach' or process. Lewin, Hiatt, Kotter and others have helped us think about how we should approach the management of change. The way managers and leaders approach change makes a difference to how things turn out. If change is planned, mapped out, and resourced, it’s good to go right? Ahh that would be a NO. This is only part of what is required to succeed.


If you want your change to succeed, you must get the people who will be most impacted to 'Accept' the change. Don’t think of this only from the perspective of the manager – you need to think of it from the perspective of the person whose job is going to be affected.


Most people are afraid change will make their jobs more uncertain and more difficult. They worry about how they will cope and how well they will perform. They fear change because it introduces uncertainty and challenges them to learn new things and forego old securities. They find it hard to accept change if they feel railroaded, backed into a corner, with little or no control. To build acceptance you must speak to legitimate fears – acknowledge them, let people talk about them, but shape the stories they tell around them. It's about Hearts and Minds.


You know the importantance of 'Approach' and 'Acceptance' but that is still not enough to succeed. You need everyone in the organisation to be 'Adaptable' during change.


People who find it hard to be adaptable get easily stressed and often disengage and become resistant. But what does it take to be adaptable? What are the components of adaptability? Is it the same as being resilient, or agile? The ‘change fitness’ concept helps us understand the nature of adaptability.


Change fitness is not something you can see, but you can see its effect in how people respond to change. Those with lots of change fitness have greater capacity to deal with the uncertainties and challenges of the change process. They possess the right psychological resources that enable them to not only survive, but even thrive in changing environments.


When 'Approach', 'Acceptance' and 'Adaptability' operate in harmony, change has the best change of success.


If you want to know more about Change Fitness or how to beat the odds and succeed with your organisational change then get in touch with me via email or book a call which wont cost you anything and may save you a lot!