Research has shown that 70% of all change efforts fail. So faced with that daunting statistic, what can leaders do to ensure that their change effort is successful? According to a 2010 transformational change survey conducted by McKinsey and Company, organizations that implemented successful change efforts had three elements in common.
1) STRUCTURE: The change effort was organized into a clear structure with easily understandable parts
2) OWNERSHIP: Roles and responsibilities were clear and people felt accountable for delivering results
3) EVALUATION: Clear metrics and milestones were set to ensure that progress and impact were rigorously tracked.
Put together, these three elements form an engine for change that supports and drives progress. In applying these three elements to your change efforts, it can be helpful ask the following questions:
- Are the phases of this change effort easy to understand?
- What might I need to do to communicate the structure more clearly?
- What is confusing to people?
- How can it be simplified so that it is easy to understand?
- Do people and teams involved in implementing the change understand their roles?
- What is their decision-making authority?
- What is their span of control?
- How are people and teams being held accountable?
- How is this being communicated?
- What will success look like?
- What metrics have been set? Are they easy to measure? Or are they ambiguous?
- What milestones are in place?
- Are there incentives and rewards paired with the metrics and milestones?
In your experience, have you found that building in structure, ownership, and evaluation elements have supported your change efforts?