"There is nothing permanent except change. Change is the only constant.
Change alone is unchanging." - Heraclitus
Change Management and
Behavioral Change Coaching (the missing link for success)..
Today, mastering the art of change is a crucial strategy for
NOTE: "Change management" theory does not solve the
problems organizations have in trying to change themselves.
management" is a derivative of the same seductive reasoning as strategic
planning. Both are based on the assumption that there is an orderly
thinking and implementation process which can objectively chart a change
plan. If that ever was possible, it certainly isn't in today's world of
high velocity change.
today's changed economy businesses everywhere are being increasingly
forced to change their structures and practices. As people are the
greatest resource of any business there are now many competing calls on
their time and their ability to change their thinking and actions to
best fit the ever changing market conditions. It follows that a person's
ability to change is today's most important discipline.
Management has always been an integral part of modern business
management, but with the emergence of a changed global
economic environment and new business practices it has gathered
Management techniques have traditionally helped businesses to adapt and
adopt to new systems or way of doing business eg; procedural or
production change via project management. However, businesses are
increasingly realizing that they need to learn how to implement
individual change as well as project change. That said, management still
typically see change efforts only in terms of strategy, structure,
business processes, technology, skills, products and services—the "work"
of the organization. However, mastering the use of new professional
skills also requires learning new personal skills sets and overcoming
Yesterday's tried and true strategies for
change are meeting with unexpected internal roadblocks.
increasing number of recent global surveys reveals the pervasiveness of
change management initiatives – greater intensity of change within
shorter time spans –
and the extent to which those initiatives are
The average organization has concluded at least five
enterprise changes in the past three years. These include culture change
(78% of organizations), restructuring (69%), market expansion (61%),
leadership transition (52%) and merger and acquisition activity (29%).
This rate of change management that today’s change
initiatives are more constant and more complex in response to immediate
challenges brought about by market “disruptors”, rapid developments in
digital and intelligent technology, and profound shifts in consumer
Change programs are overwhelmingly failing in their
implementation. In one survey, out of 400 change initiatives polled,
based on self-reporting, 50% were a “clear failure” and 16% were
described as showing “mixed results” – with only 34% being rated as
Only 33% of Companies are reporting that their change
programs have been successful.
The fact that 73% of organizations expect more change
over the next few years to remain competitive -spells trouble.
Research has shown that blame for the failure of change
initiatives wasn’t that employees were reluctant to embrace change -infact
74% of employees said they were willing to adapt to support
The problem is that personal
change only works if people commit to the process of change -for
Clearly this is not a case of “change fatigue”.
The problem is that the current approach to change management practice
is now outmoded.
With 70% of companies managing change through the traditional top-down
approach, the conclusion is clear-cut:
approach to change management also isn’t working.
This in itself is a BIG CHANGE
The top-down approach was based on the fact that
companies were largely vertical, featuring straightforward reporting
lines where leaders had all the key information. The top-down approach
mirrored the way the organization was structured and the way the work
flowed. Clearly the top-down change approach is fundamentally
disconnected from the way many companies are structured and work today.
The challenge to learn the art and science of individual change is now
paramount to any group success.
Lasting, productive change efforts require significant changes in
behavior to succeed. Most change management projects also require fundamental shifts in people’s
mindsets, culture, relationships, language, and other aspects of how
people work with each other. Yet, most of today's change
efforts still attempt to mandate changes in people from the
outside in, through strategies such as the threat of job loss, new
performance standards, or replacing old systems with new ones. However,
any change effort will only succeed if people choose to undertake
Despite the efforts of well-intentioned change management
professionals, most of their education and training efforts do not
produce sustainable changes in behavior.
Innovation, enhanced performance, increased well-being comes about when
people are empowered to engage in self-development and self-awareness
instead of being put in boxes and controlled.
It's all about People as well as the Process.
Change cannot be managed and made to march to an orderly step-by-step
strategic process. For example; when there are dramatic shifts in market
conditions, an organization cannot be suddenly turned around and become
an innovative market leader/powerhouse in just several months by highly
paid consultants employing change management theory alone. But, this is
the false expectation that many organizations have today. Organizational
change management consultants cannot be expected to radically and
quickly reengineer years of bad habits and convoluted processes whenever
their market changes and when revolutionary new technology appears every
several years or so.
Successful, Lasting Change Flows From Individual Learning, Growth, and
When cost pressures build and market competition increases, the
traditional change consultant is simply not equipped to develop
individual personal development plans that will dramatically
flatten organizations and empower everyone who've had years of
traditional command and control conditioning. Similarly, change
consultants cannot succeed with just a strategic plan alone to guide
organizations how to thrive and survive in today's global village
markeplace. What's required are not just long term system changes and
individual professional skill changes, but also cultural, habit,
thinking and personal skill changes. These later behaviors can only be
change-agents who have been trained in the use of
evidenced-based behavioral change methodologies and tools.
Similarly, Value Based Management programs that focus only on the
importance of Managing for Value (knowledge transfer) will not likely
succeed. VBM Consultants also need to be trained how to empower
people to change their intention to change and by providing a lot of
attention to attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavior control.
Walking the Talk
Without support and guidance however, people are reluctant to risk or
invest in the new behaviors. When an organization's leaders overtly
model the new behaviors first, they create a safe environment for their
managers and employees to also embrace change. As today's organizations
require shifts in thinking and behavior in order to succeed, their
leaders need to accept their responsibility to walk the talk they are
asking of the organization.