Please see below selected recent change-related content about change itself.
- Launching major transformation efforts is a common way that business leaders try to get a leg up on the competition, or just keep their heads above water. But too many of these efforts fail. Change is difficult, and many people not only resist it but seek to undermine it. A McKinsey study found that merely 26% of transformation initiatives succeed. Most successful transformations have one thing in common: change is driven through empowerment, not mandated from the top.
- BCG believes there is a gap between where most organisations are today and where they will need to be to succeed in the coming decades. The companies that win in the 2020s will be designed to constantly learn and adapt to changing realities, combine artificial and human intelligence in new ways, and harness the benefits of broader business ecosystems. Reaching this necessary future state will require a fundamental transformation. This change effort will be challenging. Many businesses have deeply entrenched operating systems that are predicated on hierarchy and human decision making. They will need to redesign their internal processes and build new capabilities and business models. Furthermore, this will not be a one-time change effort: the dynamic nature of business will require organisations to build capabilities for ongoing large-scale change to keep up with evolving technology and competition.
- The School of Life believes that we spend a lot of time trying to change other people. There is, after all, so much wrong with them: they’re selfish, arrogant, bullying, weak, cold, needy and so on. So we try to point this out - and often meet with resistance, denial or sheer indifference. This can be very agitating and hence renders us cross and severe. Why won’t people take our lessons on board? In our behaviour, we tend to be making an implicit distinction between two projects: getting other people to change - and changing ourselves.
- The author, academic and former Obama administration ‘regulatory czar’, Cass Sunstein, has explored how change happens: be it gradual, such as the creeping prominence of social media in every facet of modern life, or rapid, such as the viral spread of the #MeToo movement and its international variants. Drawing on his work in behavioural economics, law and psychology, among other fields, Sunstein outlined the necessary components for realising change and how this understanding might allow us to recognise - and address - some of the key causes of damaging societal divisions.
- We know, at least in theory, that things do change, but in practice - almost without noticing - we tend to distance ourselves and our own societies from a day-to-day belief that we belong to the same ongoing turbulent narrative and are, at present, its central actors. History, we feel, is what used to happen; it can’t really be what is happening around us in the here and now, claimed The School of Life.
- Chatham House examined what causes substantive political and social change, asking whether governments, groups or individuals really have any control and trying to understand why change so difficult to predict reliably or even to understand fully in retrospect.
- The School of Life believes that it is in the end very understandable that change can often be frightening or at least sad: we will not be around for most of it. Lingering beneath our occasional lack of adaptability is a dread of the change that will one day wipe us away. It is because we are so exposed to change in ourselves that we seek to make or protect things that will outlast us, businesses included.
- An organisational change expert argued that adapting a business in today's constantly-evolving world can be invigorating instead of exhausting and outlined five imperatives, centred around putting people first, for turning company reorganisation into an empowering, energising task for all.
- We need resolutions, argued The School of Life, as they are promises we make to change and better ourselves. But the New Year’s and related resolutions we tend to make are too often focused on our society’s idea of a perfect individual, rather than on changes that are right for us.
- Further reading:
- In our behaviour, we tend to be making an implicit distinction between two projects: getting other people to change - and changing ourselves. We know we may have to develop in certain ways, but for now, our focus is on altering others, notes The School of Life. However, this misses an important insight: changing how you behave to others can be the fastest way to alter how others behave towards you.
- Systems change has been attracting the attention of a range of progressive charities, funders and practitioners who are interested in dealing with the root causes of social problems.
- Further reading:
- Today, whatever the amplitude of the change, the frequency is much higher, argued The Book of the Future. We create, iterate, adopt and abandon new ideas and products at a much greater rate than at any point in history. We can see this in adoption curves for modern products versus those such as the washing machine: our hyper-connected societies spread these ideas much more quickly now. We can see it in the turnover of the stock markets: innovators displace incumbents faster than ever before. Whether the impact of the computer proves to be greater than the car or not, only history will tell. But it’s an impact that happened faster.
- According to The Juniper Company, the starting point towards addressing change in an organisation is effective communication. It is key that people’s perceptions of the impact of change are dealt with and underlying concerns are addressed. Without clear communication, a change initiative lacks clarity, very often resulting in a fear towards the change and a reluctance to take risks. It can be hard for employees to break away from habits when they use systems and processes that they trust. Therefore, they need to be engaged not only throughout the period of change but also, after the major elements of the plan have been implemented.
- In Mind Set!, futurist John Naisbitt (author of Megatrends), advocates 11 mindsets, the first of which seems to give the lie to the hoary, ancient aphorism (pace Heraclitus), trotted out by the unthinking on a regular basis, that "change is the only constant".
- For example, mindset 1 is, while many things remain change, most things remain constant. Key ideas:
- The seasons still -for many, though obviously for many fewer than before - determine the rhythm of life.
- More things are like men's fashions than women's fashions - i.e. relatively unchanging.
- More than 90% of new product launches are unsuccessful, suggesting that most consumers feel that they are doing just fine with what they have.
- Home, family and work are - for many - great constants.
Naisbitt concludes, perhaps convincingly, that "most of us are not hunting for news and change, but for orientation into the future, for clarity in a confusing world".