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The Challenge of Organizational Change

January 25, 2016

Organizational change can be a challenge. Over 70% of organizational change efforts fail or fall short of their original goals, illustrating that change and change management are not only difficult and messy, but shed light on or create problems. In addition, change may hurt relationships within our organizations. Well, as it turns out, that may be wrong. Obviously, change is challenging. However, in a new study completed by Accenture compiled across 150 organizations from more than 850,000 people, some interesting results were found. Eighty five percent of those organizations that had problems implementing a major change did so because of underlying issues. These organizations already had poor leadership or they were already functioning in a silo mentality. According to Walter Perry, a managing director at Accenture, change did not create the problems or dysfunction, it exposed it. Interestingly enough, organizations that were not dysfunctional, high performing organizations, when going through change found that their performance actually increased.  Change did not negatively impact high performing organizations.

Two factors that the research identifies as important in terms of moving change forward are trust in leadership and understanding change.  In high performing organizations, trust is so high that acceptance of change actually happens prior to understanding the change and why it needs to occur. 

What’s the lesson learned? Employee’s attitudes have a great deal to do with how successful a change effort is.  If you want to implement change and you want to be successful, employee engagement and employee morale must be high.