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More detail on transformations

You know that the more transformation actions your organisation takes, the greater its chances for success. That a comprehensive approach to organisational transformation is more conducive to lasting change. Yet success remains the exception, not the rule. It is a recognised fact, proven by research, that most transformations are suboptimal and, even when successful, fall short.

Already in 1995, John P. Kotter published the renowned article titled "Why most transformations fail?" (HBR), arguing that roughly 70 percent did not succeed. About 30 years later, the ratio still stands. And the main causes still are people-related: mindset, employee engagement, management support, collaboration, accountability.

Transformations are decided in the board room, as it should. But before coming to a decision, management discusses at length the "what", "how", "when", etc. These involved individuals have the luxury time to "get their heads around it", to take in the news, express worries, search for ways and ideas, etc. Well, everybody needs that time to understand what change is to come, why it is important and why 'no change' is not an option.

The real problem is not technical changes but the human changes that often accompany technical innovations. Everyone needs to receive the time and opportunities to connect to any upcoming change. And guess what: changes in total account for much of our increase (or decrease) in productivity. Not only the spectacular once-in-a-lifetime revolutions that involve massive consequences but also the “little” changes that constantly take place - changes in work methods, in procedures, in personnel assignments, ...

We cannot afford to miss out on our approach towards change, but we too often we do.

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