[The study delivers] a tough, but needed, message. HR leaders get thrown under the bus for these projects too often, which leads them to reach for visible, but ineffective, change implementation tactics.
To that end, I really like the point about realism re: expectations. Many change initiatives are heavy on marketing-style communications, which are easy to produce and point to as a tangible work product. But they’re often only one-way messages about how great the Brave New World will be. A multi-layered stakeholder management approach is a lot tougher, requires sustained effort over time, and has less-tangible payback.
Ultimately, function and process leaders need to own the change initiatives for their areas, which is why CEO ownership and involvement — again, sustained over time — is so critical. Line managers and staff won’t respond if it’s just a speech, new PowerPoint templates, and a monthly newsletter. They will wait until the change project is noticed, measured, and rewarded by the leadership team.
Adapted from my comment on a LinkedIn post re: this Forbes article from Victor Lipman: “New Study Explores Why Change Management Fails – And How To (Perhaps) Succeed“.