If your business has been resistant to change, it may be time to look at your change model as the culprit rather than the people.

Read the full article at: www.forbes.com

This article could be an eye-opener for leaders who are doing some soul-searching about ways to help their businesses become more agile and change adept. While this article may not offer the solution, it does identify some characteristics of change-adverse organizations.

Forbes contributor, Carsten Tams, reiterates what has been known for a while in change management circles when he cites a study by McKinsey that “estimates that 70% of change programs fail to achieve their goals, in large part due to employee resistance.”However, Tams has a slightly different take on it. “If a handful of people resist, maybe something is wrong with the people. If broad resistance from employees continuously topples change programs, then maybe it is not the people that need fixing, it’s the change model.”According to Tams, the traditional change model:

  • Considers employees to be “merely as auxiliary implementers,” while only senior management originates change ideas.
  • Believes that “raising concerns or proposing alternatives” is a sign of resistance.
  • Supports the “commitment from leadership to stay the course in the face of adversity.”
  • Views “change management as an intermittent project,” rather than a way that enables continuous adaptation to an ever-evolving environment.”
  • “Advocates for generating employee buy-in by maximizing communication and contingent reinforcement (carrots & sticks).”

Tams further elaborates, “Many organizations are simply not set up for agile change. While managers are busy relentlessly communicating about the change imperative, the design of many organizations slants the playing field toward controllability, stability, routinization, risk-avoidance, zero-tolerance for error, or deference to authority. It’s like pushing the accelerator and the breaks at the same time. The result is friction, fatigue, and cynicism. If we push change onto an organization that is built for stability, nothing good will come of it. Pushing harder won’t do the trick. If, instead, we get the organization ready for change, we must worry about resistance much less.”Recognizing symptoms is a vital part of diagnosing the problem. So, if Tams is describing your business, it might be time to change.

Contact us and we can help you better understand the organizational and cultural barriers that may be hindering your company’s ability to adapt to change.