Leading and Managing Change Effectively

Most changes fail. Will yours?

Probably not, but available research indicates that 70% of organization changes do fail. Some changes are abandoned along the way and never implemented. Some are implemented, but don’t work or don’t stick. And some actually make matters worst!

Ah, but perhaps you are only doing a “local” change project that is smaller in scale. Well, the available evidence indicates that 50-75% of projects fail to produce their intended results with the time frame or budget specified. According to and article in The Economist, Siemens lost $3.7 billion over a three year period due to project delays and cost overruns.

Even in the case of changes intended to lean a manufacturing or service process, it is estimated that 50% do not stick resulting in “do overs” and lost efficiencies.

So, the odds of implementing a successful change are pretty low. And they remain low in spite of the myriad articles, books, and training programs that are available on leadership and change management.

There are, of course, many explanations for the lack of effectiveness in the implementation of change. Among these are weak or absent leadership, resistance, poor or no management, poor or missing communication, and ignorance (i.e., the people implementing change actually don’t know what works even though they believe they do). Indeed, it has been my experience that one of the greatest obstacles to successful change can be found in Mark Twain’s quote:

‘It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you
know for sure that just ain’t so.’

The purpose of this website is to increase the likelihood that you will be successful in implementing change by providing perspectives on a variety of topics that may challenge what you know for sure, but that just ain’t so. The ideas provided here are the foundation of numerous MBA courses and Executive Education programs I have taught and continue to teach at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State on leading and managing change. They have also been the basis for my wife Laurie’s very successful management consulting career implementing change in virtually every type of organization from small, not-for-profit organizations, to local, state, and federal government agencies, to Fortune 100 companies.

It has been our experience that providing an alternative perspective to what “everyone knows” allows you to accomplish things that people without that perspective can’t. It gives you a capability to “hear” and “see” things that others can’t. Chess masters, for example, can see multiple moves into the future of a game that ordinary players cannot.  [NEED EXAMPLE HERE]

This website is comprised of a blog, resource articles, and links to other resources we feel are consistent with and supportive of the ideas presented here. Please note, we do not believe that the ideas contained here are the “truth” and that what others have to say about leading and managing change are “wrong”. Rather, we have found them to be an effective way of conducting change and offer them for your consideration and use.


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