What Keeps Change Alive?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2005

Here’s a question I posed to the people who read my newsletter, Tools for a Change.

So the question is, what do you do to keep major changes alive? All too often, changes begin with a bang and die with a whimper. A vision is created, lots of banners and slogans, teams get to work, new systems are put in place, and then the change just fades from view. People put their energy on other projects, and soon this once brilliant idea is hardly ever mentioned. That’s quite a contrast from those few changes where the organization actually got its money’s worth from all that effort.

Most of the writing on change focuses on the beginning stages, and this sustaining commitment stage just gets ignored. That’s why I want to explore it more deeply.

What works? I’m not looking for theory, but real examples of ways in which organizations (not teams or individuals, but big complex hairy organizations) made from planning through to results.

For those of you who respond, I will compile the results, and send you the report on ways to sustain commitment to change.