Change – Why is it so difficult?

Change – Why is it so difficult?

September 21st, 2018 // 11:29 am @

Almost every board I interact with talks enthusiastically about the need for change, yet few of them actually deliver change. Why do they find it so difficult?

The steps to implementing change are essentially very simple, have a clear strategy, build a structure to deliver that strategy, and get the right people to implement the strategy.

Most companies have at least some concept of strategically where they are trying to go, although having “Strategic Goals” is often confused with having a strategy. A strategy is not merely where one is trying to go, it is a plan of what needs to happen to achieve those strategic goals.

The second stage, building the right structure is where many organizations falter. This is a key driver of change, and achieving ones strategic goals. Structure is not just the company organigram, it is setting individual objectives, Key Performance Measures by individual, and of course allocating resource.

Too many companies have at best confused structures, in which people are unclear as to what their role is, the responsibilities they have and on what basis they will be judged.

Good structures are built to deliver the company strategy, and to allow every person to understand their role. A really good structure puts authority, responsibility and knowledge in the same person for an individual task.

Putting the right people in the right roles is fairly easy if one has a clear structure, as you know for each individual what is required to achieve the strategy. The problem comes when the structure is either wrong, or more likely confused. When this happens choosing the right people becomes very difficult because it is unclear what is expected of the individual.

The most common reason for a failure to implement change effectively is a lack of willingness to tackle the structural issues. Writing a business strategy is a relatively painless exercise, changing a company structure is a much more challenging managerial exercise, and brings with it risk, short term disturbance, and individual winners and losers.

However if one wishes to achieve ones strategic goals structural change is almost inevitable. The reality is too often people want change, but do not want too change.

Category : Blog &Management Technique

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