Monday, 20 June 2011

When big change projects stutter

Recently a small group of us brainstormed a big change project that was just not achieving the results that had been expected. This is what external consultants were seeing:-

  • Low confidence across the business, with low motivation.
  • Unsure of the direction and the 'how'.
  • Not sure how to engage in the change.
  • Pressure to match the results from other sites.
  • A struggle to engage people lower down the ranks.
  • Key messages not being communicated.
  • Getting them to 'imagine' what success looks like - what could and should be achieved.
  • Corporate laziness - getting them to intellectually extend themselves.
  • It is something they want BUT don't fully understand.
  • The change is seen as 'scary'.
  • Too many key players are passive.
  • Lack of real buy-in from the top.
  • Quite a few middle managers acting as blockers.
  • A general lack of personal leadership.
 I think these problems are so typical of all head office initiated changes in our global corporations, it does take a fair amount of time to get the people at the coal face bought in, so often this quality time is not part of the game plan. BECAUSE .... it will take too long!!! What happens when you don't get this buy-in you really don't get the results either!  Change programmes are probably 50% technical process and 50% social / people / soft skills yet so often they are seen as 90% technical process!

If you want a good lesson in how to manage change, then read 'Our Iceberg is Melting'. Have a watch of this video as John Kotter explains the book.

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