Why Change Fails: Strategies for Successful Change

Cause of Failure Steps to Successful Change Management
Allowing too much complacency Establishing a sense of urgency

  • Remember C=abd>x
  • Examining market and competitive realities
  • Identifying and discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities
Failing to create an appropriate structure for change Forming a powerful guiding coalition (and attending to roles)

  • Attending to appropriate roles for change
  • Assembling a group with enough power to lead change
  • Encouraging the group to work together as a team
Underestimating the power of vision Creating a vision.
Developing a vision to guide the change effort, and strategies for achieving the vision.
Under communicating the vision Communicating the vision.

  • Use every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies.
  • Modeling new behaviors by example; being the change; purposing leadership.
Permitting obstacles to block the new vision Empowering others to act on the vision.

  • Identifying and getting rid of obstacles to change
  • Changing systems or structures that undermine the vision
  • encouraging risk taking and nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions.
Failing to create short-term wins Planning for and creating short-term wins

  • Planning for visible performance improvements
  • Creating those improvements
  • Visibly recognizing and rewarding employees who made the wins possible.
Declaring victory too soon Consolidating improvements and producing more change

  • Using increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit the vision.
  • Hiring, promoting, and developing employees who can implement the vision
  • Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents.
Neglecting to anchor the changes firmly in corporate culture Institutionalizing new approaches

  • Creating better performance through customer- and productivity-oriented behavior, more and better leadership, and more effective management
  • Articulating the connections between new behaviors and organizational success
  • Developing means to ensure leadership development and succession.

Source: Kotter, J.P. (1995).  Why transformation efforts fail.  Harvard Business Review, mar-Apr: 59-67


Primary Goals sits at the intersection of three core ideas about communication:
  • Leaders create vision by communicating a compelling future to their teams.
  • Teams create success based on how effectively the communicate and coordinate with each other.
  • Entrepreneurial ventures are successful only when they communicate value to people with a concern that the business can take care of
In all cases, it’s about Conversations for Committed Results.  That’s our Primary Goal.  



Copyright 2021 Primary Goals - Privacy Policy