Change management should be a cornerstone of transformation

Change management should be a cornerstone of transformation to ameliorate the impact on workers, write Ed Caldwell, Monica LaRue and Michael Blahnik of consulting firm RGP. The authors say a failure to understand that change management is an integral ingredient for successful transformations underpins a success rate of just 30% for major transformational initiatives, with research showing that more than 50% of these initiatives fail and only 20% only partly deliver on their objectives. Monica LaRue, RGP vice president, notes the experience of one of the consulting firm’s clients: “They were lamenting that 70% of their initiatives – which were good ideas for the company – were not being successfully implemented across the finish line, even with a best-in-class Project Management methodology. They discovered they were not addressing the ‘people’ side of the change they were introducing, and that was the crux of the failures.” Four change recommendations are suggested by RGP to ensure the success of transformational initiatives, including: companies should plan for change management; organisations should encourage the adoption of technology via training across their operations; firms should consider change management as an insurance policy against potential failure; and companies launching transformation initiatives should build sustainable foundations for further changes. RGP’s Ed Caldwell says: “Don’t just focus on the project or initiatives that are currently in the works. Look ahead and develop internal change capabilities and reusable assets that can be honed on a major initiative and then leveraged for future significant changes.”

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