Why Change Efforts Fail

70% of change efforts fail according to Pat Zigarmi, coauthor with Ken Blanchard, John Britt, and Judd Hoekstra of the new book Who Killed Change? out in bookstores now.   

In Zigarmi’s experience of working with clients on organizational change initiatives over the past 20 years, a couple of common mistakes keep popping up when organizations go about launching large scale change in their organizations.   

What causes change to fail in most organizations?  Here are three that Zigarmi recommends keeping an eye on: 

  1. People leading the change think that announcing the change is the same as implementing it.  So much energy in organizations is spent preparing to communicate the change and the reasons behind it, but not nearly the same energy is spent planning for the successful execution and rollout of the change after the announcement.
  2. People’s concerns with change are not surfaced or addressed. If leaders do not take the time to specifically address individuals’ needs and fears near the beginning of the change process, they will find themselves fighting an uphill battle later on in the process.
  3. Those being asked to change are not involved in planning the change.  Leaders need to gain the buy-in and cooperation of the people who are being asked to change. Without that, resistance smolders. This is because people feel that change is being done to them rather than with them. 

Interested in learning more about Zigarmi’s thoughts on leading people through change in your organization?  Be sure to check out interviews with Pat in the May 2008 and May 2009 issues of Ignite or Pat’s webinar recordings on implementing change. 

To learn more about Who Killed Change? including access to the first chapter, follow this link, Who Killed Change?

2 thoughts on “Why Change Efforts Fail

  1. Pingback: On Change | Eric D. Brown

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