Why do we have to do this stuff now?
Your Change Management Motivational Speaker Mike Hourigan says the following.
“The McKinsey consulting group reports data that 70% of all change management efforts fail. A 30% success rate is troubling, particularly when considering the associated costs in the form of loss of competitive position, confidence of the workforce in leadership, and quality improvements and anticipated costs reductions.”
It is called change fatigue, it’s a real thing, and no one should be surprised by it. As a change management motivational speaker and a change management consultant, in speaking to groups or one to one, I routinely hear the frustration and even the anger at changes leading nowhere.
The quote I cite above on change management, from the Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing was pre-pandemic (April 1, 2019) and even then, the nursing profession was burned out on meaningless change for the sake of change. And, as that article stated, to have only a 30-percent success rate seems ludicrous at best.
As a change management motivational speaker, I know there are ways of improving the odds. I would like to advance five, change management ideas with this post. Nothing will be earth shaking, but all of them must be honored.
Change management is a people proposition
As a general introduction to the topic please understand there are essentially two types of change in organizations: initiated and inflicted.
The differences are obvious. Initiated change can come out of an organic, natural shift: “Our old computer network is outdated and failing, we all know it, and so we need to anticipate and plan for a new system.”
Inflicted change is a more bitter pill to swallow: “Due to staff walking off the job from job stress, from this day forward everyone must work 10 hours of overtime a week until HR can understand why people are leaving.”
- Of course, I am being a bit silly (kind of) but in some organizations resistance to unending change is resulting in mass resignations.
There must be a company-wide acknowledgment that no matter how sweeping or frequent the change, it isn’t only a matter of why is the organization is changing now, but more importantly, why is it being done? If the second question is a reach to explain, it probably won’t fly.
- The outcome. What are the results expected from the proposed changes and are they meaningful? If not, what can the organization do to improve results? It is no longer enough (given the fatigue) to promise some mysterious outcome. Make it real.
- To the above point. If those deciding on change are concerned about the possibility that the change could fail, it is best not to play the 70-percent odds, but to strategize for ways in which the risk can be mitigated.
- Who decides? There must be employee buy-in and even better, if everyone is involved. A handful of decision makers changing something yet again, is not nearly as meaningful as every department or group embracing and helping with the organizational change. Get people involved and please listen to their concerns.
- The overall culture. I am a firm believer that unless change leads to an improvement in the culture of the organization, no matter what is proposed, it will lead to disappointment and regret.
Change for the sake of change has never been a good look. Now, post-pandemic, off-again, on-again hybrid, stress and burn-out at all-time highs, be wary of any change done for a “just because” reason.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Change Management Keynote Speaker, for an in-person or virtual presentation, contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.