By: Tina Schuelke
You are in the midst of changes. Are the changes successful? When will you know? How will you know? Our clients grapple with these questions, and so do we with every change. It is important to have a plan, but also resources that are benchmarks for what successful change looks like. More important is to set your change apart from others and understand what successful change looks like when you have developed a dependable competency for change.
Change Management Communications Center likes to compare apples and oranges when it comes to measuring the success of your change. The reason why we like to look beyond “other changes like this” is because the success rate for change has been researched and determined to be very low for more than forty years. For instance, if you are working on a merger or acquisition, and you know that industry standard estimates only 9% of mergers and acquisitions are profitable over time, do you want to compare your success with “industry standard,” or would you like to compare to the target of your own profitability expectations of the merger? Would you also like to know the impact on stakeholders and what retention rates and customer loyalty look like before, during, and after the merger?
Harvard Business School, Bloomberg, McKinsey & Co, Prosci, Boston Consulting and many others have studied, researched, and reported that most organizations accept that they must either change or die. It’s recognized that change remains difficult to pull off, and few companies manage the process well. Most change initiatives—implementing new technology or processes, downsizing, restructuring, or trying to change corporate culture—have had low success rates. The cruel fact is that about 70% of all change initiatives fail. So the question is, when you measure your change success, are you comparing yourself to the apple’s 30% success rate, or the orange’s 70% failure rate? And, do you know what successful change really looks like? Here are some places to look in order to measure the success of your change:
This simple assessment provides insight to how well you are managing change. Scores between 30 and 40 may indicate that your organization is ahead of most. Scores between 20 and 24 tend to show that that your organization is on track with a majority of organizations (70% failure rate), and scores below 20 indicate that you are behind the trends. Contact Change Management Communications Center for a more in-depth assessment of your change success or if you need help developing your business’s competency for change. We specialize in helping leaders realize profitable, successful change results.