Change Management and ROI

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

In Corey Smith’s blog, Master the Business,
he asks why change often doesn’t achieve significant ROI. Here was my response to him:

Corey – I love your phrase “change forsaken.” That’s priceless.

I found a number of reasons why change fails to earn significant ROI. (I’ll try to not repeat Ken Stewart’s fine comments in response to your posting.)

1. Leaders don’t understand why people support or resist change. Consequently, their strategies rely too heavily on financial and technical concerns, and ignore the human side of the equation.

2. I don’t believe people naturally resist change, but they do resist change that is inflicted on them. Too often involvement in the change process is too little, too superficial, and too late. I have seen mind-numbing PowerPoint presentations pass as “getting people involved.”

3. Leaders fail to make a compelling case for change. They begin with “how” instead of addressing “why” first.

4. Leaders move on to the next change too quickly. I can understand the impetus to do that, but when they shift attention, the entire organization hears a signal that the current change is no longer very important.

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