Assume change implementation is straightforward. Imagine that you have developed the internal capability to manage the majority of change projects that you need to implement in the next five years. What impact would that have on your organisational performance, growth, the culture and the external strains and stresses you are currently undergoing? Suppose your staff were sufficiently competent, developed and skilled to manage resistance to change, plan and implement complex projects and deal with dissatisfied customers, over-controlling stakeholders and resistant and complex staff. Further, focus on the benefits of not having to employ expensive external consultancy groups, interims and business experts, because you could trust that all your people can deal with all this as part of ‘business as usual’ rather than relying on the same few enthusiasts. Consider using the Acceptance Curve to assess your current capability for change.
Developing acceptance of change as the norm Now consider the profile of the typical business. This may not be true for you, but this is accurate for larger organisations that need to change how they operate. For every 100 people you employ, you will be fortunate if you have two or three outstanding staff members drawn to deal enthusiastically with complex problems. They are exceptional people who I would term ‘change champions’ and will willingly seek, initiate and take on new projects and portray strong leadership skills. You may also have an additional 2-4 people who we could class as ‘early adaptors’ who, seeing how the ‘change champions’ work, are willing to get absorbed in the process. If you are lucky, you will have a further 4-6 ‘late adaptors’ willing to be involved in projects but not with the same intensity as their colleagues, as mentioned earlier. Perhaps if you are lucky, you can rely on about ten people out of every hundred to take some responsibility for leading change.
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