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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

You Have To Want To Change

So if the business world has changed so much and so quickly, why is change still so difficult to achieve?

Why does it spark such resistance, and why is it so hard to do well?

This article provides more insight into the problem:

  • “Change is hard, and it’s not free,” explains Todd Senturia, global head of Bain Consulting’s change management practice. “People simply aren’t getting any better at it.”
  • 70 to 80% of companies continue to fail at change management, Senturia estimates, a task made all the more difficult by the growing complexity of the global economy.
  • The rewards of stellar execution are huge.

After reviewing many case studies of successful change, Bain codified a four-step formula for navigating the change process well. The steps are: plan, lead, operate, and track. They sound simple, but they aren’t.

  • Planning requires a robust self-assessment, a review of customer and product roadmaps, and the development of new opportunities, spelling out the business case, risk and investment requirements for each.
  • Leading requires selecting and directing the right change team, with the right people in the right roles to achieve effective engagement in the process. Businesses should avoid the trap of underinvesting in the change process.
  • Operating demands treating the change itself like a business, with its own plan and decisions, sometimes requiring tradeoffs with other production or corporate targets.
  • Tracking is the fourth and final step in lasting change, which means finding the two or three key indicators that show change results in increased production, bigger market share, or fatter profits.

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