“Everyone gets excited about change, except when it happens to them.”
These battle-hardened words were shared with me years ago by the CMO of GE.
The data certainly back up her frustration. Depending on the study, 30% of change initiatives fail outright. An additional 40% fail to meet performance goals. Only 20% of organizations rank as having strong change leadership capabilities.
And the move to distributed teams, for all their strengths, bring additional challenges that likely do more to exacerbate than to help this trend.
There is a very real bottom line here. Managing change and delivering a successful outcome is a critical challenge.
Why aren't we effective at leading change?
Remember the story of the four blind men and the elephant?
To often, we don’t have one way of describing the reality we sense at our fingertips.
We seem to lack both the language that aligns teams and organizations around the journey to a new future, and the analytical frameworks for governing that journey.
And this, in turn, results from the fact that leading change is not strongly part of the leadership vernacular. It is not embraced as “the thing I do” when, in fact, it is the very thing that needs to be done.
Problems, problems. Alas.
The good news is this nut has been cracked. In partnership with my good friends at Sococo.com, I’m sharing a few cornerstone elements from the Growth River Leadership OS in a series of ebooks.
These ebooks are designed to provide leaders an effective approach to big change initiatives.
The first ebook starts, well, at the beginning. How We Think About Leading Change Matters.