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Why transformation efforts fail

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If you type Organizational Change in Amazon’s book search, you get 53,000 results. Googling the same term returns 28,200,000 results! In spite of all this apparent wisdom, transformation efforts continue to fail.

I’ve only read one of Amazon’s tomes on change – John Kotter’s Leading Change. It outlines his, now legendary, 8-step change process. There’s something about Kotter that reminds me of another legendary author – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (now, what was that expression again…?)

I won’t be bothering with the other 52,999 tomes, not when Scott Adams sums it up in 90 words and 8 pictures. In the cartoon above, he presents 4 plausible leadership enablers versus 4 “cynical employee responses” to change.

  1. Empowerment “nobody involves us in decision making”
  2. Accountability “nobody knows what we do”
  3. Communication “nobody listens to us”
  4. Role model “this guy’s a nobody to us”

When it comes to delivering the desired change, listening to the insights of employees is far more effective than reading the insights of academics.

So, when you hear your employees go “FUH-FUH-FUH” don’t give up – listen up!

And don’t call me Sherlock! But I will investigate each of these leadership enablers individually, just follow the links.

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