Change leadership – essential but not simple

Recently heard in a company’s executive management meeting was the comment: “We talk a lot about what we must do to respond to these competitive pressures but we never do anything about it.” Not unusual, you might agree, and it normally takes a comment like this to break the chains of inertia and get some action going.

Similarly, many organisations take too long implementing necessary changes, with resultant cost overruns and a failure to deliver what is needed – and, indeed, what is expected.

The costs of change

Cost is partly due to the actual cost of the business transaction: restructuring, merger, disposal, downsizing, new system, new process, and so on. But it also manifests itself through decreased employee productivity, unstable marketplace perception, loss of key stakeholders, negative customer reaction and loss of trust in the leadership of the organisation.

These risks are especially high when related to internal change projects that involve complex, matrix-functional systems that must all be actioned within a short time span. But they can equally apply to redundancy scenarios or when changes in the management structure are taking place.

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