Eight Key Steps to Effectively Drive Organizational Change


As a follow-up to last week’s blog, “The Top Ten Reasons Why Change Initiatives Fail”, we promised we would share the keys to successfully drive organizational change within your branch, department, division or company. The foundation of any successful change initiative is “cultural readiness” to adapt and align with the change. Here are eight key steps to ensure your change initiative sticks:

  1. Create a sense of urgency.

  • For change to happen, it helps if the whole company really wants it. Develop a sense of urgency around the need for change.

  • This is about open, honest and convincing dialogue about what's happening in the marketplace and with your competition. As more and more people start positively talking about the impending change, the urgency can build and feed on itself.

  1. Form a Knowledge Team

  • To lead change, you need to bring together a coalition, or team, of influential people whose power comes from a variety of sources, including job title, status, expertise, and political importance.

  • By making key stakeholders part of the process you will see firsthand that shared diagnosis leads to mutual engagement and accountability.

  1. Create a vision or “North Star” for the change.

  • Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream,” and John F. Kennedy’s “We choose to go to the moon by the end of this decade” are two of the most powerful vision statements of the last 100 years.Both were simple to understand and mobilized people to execute upon.

  • It has been said that if you asked a NASA janitor in the 1960’s what his role was, he’d respond, “I am helping to put an astronaut on the moon.”That is clear vision with a terminal point that everyone could rally around.

  1. Communicate the vision every chance you get.