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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Six Drivers of Organizational Change

Scott Anthony, president of Innosight, an innovation consulting and investing company, summarized six drivers of organizational change at Harvard Business Online, based on a panel discussion he moderated with CEOs from Dow Corning, Eastman Kodak and Procter & Gamble.

The six common themes of successful organizational change:
  1. The need for a crisis or some kind of “burning platform” to motivate transformational change
  2. A clear vision and strategy … that allows room for iteration
  3. A recognition that transformation is a multi-year journey
  4. A need to put the customer or consumer in the center of the transformation equation
  5. The critical importance of demonstrating to skeptics that different actions can lead to different results
  6. The need to over-communicate to employees, customers, stakeholders, and shareholders

BOTTOMLINE: In order for change to successfully begin in an organization, there needs to be a need - a reason. After all, "if nothing changes, nothing changes" (which is the inverse of "different actions can lead to different results.") Even Einstein said "“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Once a sense of urgency has been established, a clear vision and strategy must be created and, if anything, over-communicated - particularly to all team members. If every person in the workforce understands the goals of the organization, plans their daily activities to support those goals, and continually aligns their actitivities and monitors results, it goes a long way to supporting continual improvement and change within an organization.

(Hat tip to George Ambler over at The Practice of Leadership)

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