70% of change efforts fail.
Are the alarm bells going off? They should be. This statistic is abysmal.
Whether it’s a new product launch, a company restructuring or a cultural shift, your change efforts must succeed. You’ve invested time, money and your future in this direction.
From our point of view, Collabo XD has guided hundreds of change efforts through to success, including at huge organizations like the Red Cross and Indiana University Health.
Below is our five-point system. But first …
Why the heck do most change efforts fail?!
First step in making sure that you spend your resources wisely on change within your organization is understanding why most fail.
The most common reasons are …
- Lack of clear communication — Every change starts with a plan. If you didn’t get that step 1 right, it’s difficult to see yourself to success. When you actually implement the change (whether it’s a new performance review process or rebranding), it’s important that everyone involved understands these three components:
- What’s changing
- Why it’s changing
- How does it affect me (your employees or customers)
- Without clear communication, frustration sets in, leading to resistance to change. Destining your efforts to crash and burn.
- Failure to involve employees — You need more than just leadership buy-in. Likely, your change will require some involvement on behalf of employees. Without their engagement and support, your big change ain’t going anywhere.
- Inadequate resources — Manpower, technology or funding – your change will require resources. Make sure you align your resources when planning your change strategy. No budget? No change.
- Resistance to change — Like I said earlier, we’re naturally resistant to change. It’s hard to adapt!
- Fear of the unknown
- Preference for the status quo
- Lack of understanding of the change
- Therefore, you need to communicate your goals with customers and employees. Show them what’s on the other side of your change. What’s in it for them?
- Poor leadership — Change starts at the top. Without strong leadership and buy-in, change efforts are doomed from the beginning. Watch out for a lack of vision and commitment and poor communication.
Sure, there are other barriers to success. But planning for and implementing change is a heck of a lot easier when you crush these ones.
The 5-point system to guarantee your change efforts succeed
No one ever said change management is easy. As humans, we’re hard-wired to reject change.
But these five steps will make your job 10x easier (they have for so many others before you!):
- Establish clear goals & communication — From the initial brainstorm to collecting feedback on your change strategy, you have to have a clear goal in mind. As a leader, it’s your job to communicate that clearly and concisely to your audience – customers or employees. This means being transparent about your reasons for the change.
- Involve employees — The more involved your employees become, the more likely you’ll succeed in your change efforts.
Now, this isn’t a silver bullet – There are some big strategies employees shouldn’t be involved in (like restructuring and layoffs). But by and large, if you’re change impacts them, ask their opinion, get their ideas and make them feel as if they’re heard.
By involving your team in the change process, you tap into their expertise. Meaning better buy-in and support for the change.
- Provide adequate resources — Remember, this is a key aspect of the planning process. Is your change even possible with the current resources you have access to? Then, make sure once your change is planned, you educate those it impacts. Leverage your learning management system to show employees what’s expected of them. Overcommunicate the change and make sure your audience has the right tools to move forward successfully.
- Foster a culture of constant change — Change is more likely to succeed when it’s embedded in the culture of your company. Foster a culture of change by encouraging open communication, promoting continuous improvement and recognizing the successes and failures of past change efforts. Then, big changes aren’t that big after all. Nice!
- Lead by example — Like I said, change starts at the top. Your leaders are an example for the company. Model the change you expect of your employees and customers. This means committing to the change, demonstrating a willingness to adapt and providing the support necessary for change to succeed.
Change is a necessary part of business. But boy, can it be challenging.
So understand why most projects fail. Then you’re already on your way to guiding your change to its goal.
This is exactly what Collabo XD does for brands, institutions and communities. Want to see how it works at your organization?
Get a free consultation here.