Most of our contributors do measure change, but 37% either don’t measure change or they don’t know if they do or feel measuring change is too difficult. So, here’s some evidence why this is worth struggling with. For example, learning is the most mentioned benefit of measuring change (27.1%). Yet, if this is so important then why the lack of focus on vehicles like coaching, mentoring and training to capitalize on this learning.
Another striking disconnect is the low numbers of those who see benefits of measuring change’s impact on marketing and customers. This is curious, as our contributors’ most common reason for losing customers is not price but poor quality (92.2%), poor follow-up by sales people (76.5%) and making the wrong assumptions about customers (64.5%). After detailed analysis, it would seem that the relationship between change and competitive advantage is not as clearly visualized as one might think.
In addition, the use of employee metrics including personal performance, resistance to change, improvement to company culture and understanding our purpose, are low compared to satisfaction surveys. Most concerning is the lack of focus on individual behavioral change and tracking pay-related rewards. This is further evidence of little focus on accountability and establishing a requiring environment
Even when metrics are agreed upon, the next challenge is creating greater transparency so that they are used to create and sustain change momentum.
What Questions do Change Metrics Need to Answer?
Overall, there needs to be more focus on developing effective change metrics. The challenge is: How well do your change metrics accelerate learning, problem solving and decision making?
In Section 4, we distilled contributor questions on what they need change metrics to answer into a questionnaire. We ask readers to go through and rate their current metrics under three sections:
- Navigating during a Change
- Reviewing a Change
- Planning the Next Change
Our contributors suggest establishing a change scorecard with their leadership team and key stakeholders. For example by:
- Agreeing on those questions which the team needs to answer
- Deciding what current metrics could be put to good use
- Assessing during the change process how well they cover the risks of losing customers through poor product or service quality and poor sales follow-up.
And finally……Asking how well your scorecard helps you sell this and subsequent changes?
Action Points: Developing More Effective Change Metrics
Three themes were referenced in contributor comments about change metrics and how to test their overall effectiveness.
- How well do your change metrics accelerate learning, problem-solving, and decision-making?
Establish Your Change Scorecard
It is strongly suggested that you go through this process with your leadership team and key stakeholders. (See section 7 for more details.)
- Review the table Contributor Questions.
- Agree on those questions your team need to answer when you are doing the following:
- Navigating a change
- Reviewing a change
- Planning the next change
- What current metrics could be put to good use?
- How well do they cover the risks of losing customers through poor-quality sales follow-up during the change process?
- How well do they inform you that the organization is reducing assumptions about customers’ view of the change and how the change responds to their needs?
- To what extent do your selected metrics allow you to preempt or least respond quickly to competitors
- How well do these metrics allow you to gauge and track employee stress around the change?
- To what extent will your metrics allow you to respond quickly and effectively to employee stress before it hardens their change resistance?
Why Do People Resist Change?
Here’s the reality, Leaders need employee support and trust if their change is going to stand any chance of success. Our contributors underscore this. If people are cynical about a change, pessimism will set in, and failure is assured. Our contributors show that there are no simple remedies, no sound bites or grizzly 7 step plans. Yet, at its core there are fundamental values that, if believed in, will offer a sound basis for planning and executing successful change. Change failures have left their mark on our contributors over the last eight years. Through their eyes, resistance is a brownfield site  where change is synonymous with downsizing, doing more for less, and treating people poorly.
Accelerated change demands more of everyone. Such change has major consequences for employees. Accelerated change failure creates cultural toxicity. Crucially, leaders need to separate the symptoms of change resistance from the stress that causes it. If they don’t, they are just like bad sales people trying to overcome objections and not realizing 60% of those objections are of the salesperson’s own creation. These contributors, they are saying that change resistance is natural, but you don’t need to make it more difficult if you do some things profoundly well. The chart below gives a sense of the avoidable.
Once you recognize that Change Resistance causes stress then you can be more effective in reducing it. Our contributors say that, if leaders create clear and consistent frameworks, you help most people make informed decisions about committing to a change or not. Here’s what our contributors are saying:
- Align Expectations between leaders and people
- Set Clear Direction: Leaders clarify their change’s What, Why, How and WIIFMs (What’s In It For Me) for different groups and people.
- Develop Accountabilities: by developing the rewards and consequences that assure expectations of both leaders and their people are met.
These are sound practices for reducing and managing people’s stress, but only if leaders realize the importance of Walking Their Own Talk.
Action Points: Managing Change Stress and Resistance
All these contributors are saying that change resistance is natural, but you don’t need to make it that difficult if you do some things profoundly well.
This starts with recognizing that change resistance is caused by stress. So why not treat the cause and not the symptom? Stress is natural and good if managed. Stress is reduced if leaders create clear and consistent frameworks that help people make informed decisions about committing to a change or not. Here’s how we interpret what our contributors are saying
Clarifying the Direction:
Leaders clarify their change’s what, why, how, and WIIFMs¹ for different groups and individuals. What does this mean for me? This leads to aligning expectations.
This is a process flow in two directions between leaders and each individual.
This step develops the rewards and consequences through performance measurement, management, and rewards that ensure expectations of both leaders and their people are met.
To read all the findings go to the section – Why do people resist change in Focusing Change To Win
This series highlights contributions from 1072 Business Leaders and Consultants from 80 countries in 19 Industry Sectors detailed in our new book Focusing Change to Win. Each blog gives some of the key findings and a sample of useful tips. Here are the book sections we are highlighting:
- Why is this Book Important?
- The Why and What of Change
- Why Do People Resist Change?
- Why Bother Measuring Change?
- How Can Implementing Change Gain Competitive Advantage?
- Is Your Organization Thriving or Just Surviving?
- How Effectively Are You Communicating Change?
- How Can You Lead to Thrive?
Why is this book important?
Here is what Bill Connors, President of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce said:
“Focusing Change to Win is a must read and reference for business people regardless of their company’s size. Whether you run a family business or public corporation, this book has thought provoking tools and questionnaires you can use immediately. Nick Anderson and his co-Author Kelly Nwosu have done a masterful job in distilling over 6000 business leaders’ comments into such a practical set of tools. If you want your next change to be successful, this is essential reading.”
Failed change means lost opportunity, competitive vulnerability, poor revenues and valued employee turnover. But, it’s real impact is increased cynicism and fear which develops hostile and toxic cultures where change resistance is the norm.
So, why is this important now?
- Change management’s track record isn’t getting any better and, isn’t likely to, if we don’t do different things.
- Change failure rates continue above 60%
- Surveyed executives still say people are the main reason for failed change
- Technology is delivering faster, opportunity-rich yet still often underutilized solutions
- Many leaders say their current business models are misaligned with emergent realities, unforeseen challenges, and changing priorities.
- Many also confess they don’t know how to go about fixing what’s no longer delivering sustainable competitive advantage.
Today change management is even more challenging. Unfortunately, any consensus on the causes and solutions of failed change remain elusive. Yet, some organizations do manage successful change. This is what motivated us to ask:
What are the meaningful differences between those that thrive on change and those that just survive?
After analyzing over 6000 business leader comments from 80 countries, there are clearly those leaders who understand this condition and those who do not. They realize that working relationships are increasingly stressed in the drive for ever faster responses to competitive threats and opportunities. Unfortunately, too many are still trying to do things differently not do different things.
In this series we highlight how Focusing Change to Win is a valuable change manual for leaders which distills the collective wisdom of over one thousand business leaders and consultants with ten thousand years of change-management experience. It outlines how the questionnaires and action points can be used to increase the chances of change success.
This internet-based collaboration was borne of their shared concerns of change management’s poor track record. These concerns grew out of their common consulting experience and by the disturbing parallels they found in senior executive surveys since 1996 to present day.
Since 2011, their deepening commitment is fueled by recognizing that managing change has never been more challenging. It is their mission to engage leaders and professionals in finding better ways to implement both successful and competitively sustainable change.
They recognize the body of work in change management is extensive, if not fragmented. Their book captures a set of perspectives from 1072 leaders and consultants from 80 countries and distills logical conclusions while avoiding overly-simplistic prescriptions.
Nick Anderson Co-Author
The credibility of their work stems not only from their qualifications but international experience. Nick grew up and was educated in the UK where he lived in multi-cultural communities. This formed the basis for his successful consulting experience in Europe, Middle Est and USA.in UK. Kelly on the other hand grew up in Nigeria and completed his education both in the UK and Malaysia. Today, Kelly lives in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria and Nick lives in Boise, Idaho’s State Capital in the USA
This multi-national upbringing and experience has bred humility for recognizing that they do not have all the answers and has been foundational to writing “Focusing Change to Win”.
It is their strong belief is that by developing a community of critical friends, they can deepen understanding and application of more effective change management. To this end they formed New Catalyst, a change management company focusing on training, consulting and research solutions.
The book will be published on 29th Sept. To Pre-Order Focusing Change to Win please complete the form below or use the Buy Now button.