In 2013, McKinsey estimated that 70% of organizational change management programs fail.
The Grim Statistics about Organizational Change ManagementWhile this might as well be an urban legend (we have searched in vain for more up-to-date statistics on the matter), each one of us has at least one experience that supports this statistic (and for those who haven’t experienced a complete failure, the resistance to change and the roadblocks in front of the change process are nowhere near what can be qualified as sweet memories).
The Optimistic View on Organizational ChangeBut enough with the pessimistic, glass-half-empty view of change projects. According to the same statistics, 30% of change management processes were successful. This means that those implementing the change project were either extremely lucky, or they were doing something right, or the project was happening in an environment that allowed for such organizational change to happen (aka a learning organization). Before diving deeper into why some organizations are more successful than others at managing change, let’s start with what change management is.
Change Management DefinitionAccording to PROSCI, change management is the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.
Managing change is not easy, but managing change in a dysfunctional environment is similar to rolling Sisyphus boulder up the hill. Resistance to change is high and whatever fancy change management model you may try to apply, it just doesn’t work.