Welcome to this edition of our monthly Business Performance newsletter. We especially welcome our new subscribers. Our theme this month is change. Now that we are into the new year, many organizations are spearheading new projects and change initiatives designed to make their organizations run better and achieve more worthwhile results. The reality is that the majority of project managers and change leaders quickly find their programs going off the rails.
Our feature article this month highlights the main reasons change projects fail. It turns out that organizations are repeating the same mistakes made by many others. Which reasons for failure can you recognize in your organization?
An approach to leading and managing change in organizations that has gained increasing respect over the last several years is Appreciative Inquiry. This approach turns problems on their head. Instead of getting us to ask what is going wrong, it helps us to identify and build on what is right.
At a team, department and organizational level, this approach positively reinforces people's motivations to do the best they can. To help bring up our skills in this area, we are fortunate to have two highly experienced Appreciative Inquiry practitioners shortly run their Appreciative Inquiry workshops.
Please check out the details below and book early. Seats are limited.
Do you need help with your current or future project? Are you looking for a professional trainer, facilitator or coach? Check out our dedicated team of experts ready to assist you in a variety of specialized fields. In this issue, we introduce you to one of our Appreciative Inquiry experts, Chris Bennett. Find out what Chris is up to in Meet Our Expert of the Month.
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Appreciative Inquiry Workshops
Recently, we announced the upcoming Essence of Appreciative Inquiry Training Workshops on our blog. The workshops are designed and conducted in Australia by leading Appreciative Inquiry practitioners, Sue James and Chris Bennett. The scheduled dates are:
3rd - 4th April
18th - 19th April
10th - 11th April
1st - 2nd May
Previous participants regard the workshops as highly practical, fun and interactive. Sue and Chris explain their method: "These workshops are very different from the standard approach as they focus on the 'essence' of Appreciative Inquiry, so critical for success. Capturing the spirit of Appreciative Inquiry makes the approach more powerful than simply applying it as a 'mechanical technique'."
Dee Brooks, from ABCD Asia Pacific, participated in a recent workshop and had this to say: "This workshop was, by far, one of the most inspirational, thoughtful, action-provoking workshops I have attended for many years - and I've attended many! I cannot recommend the Essence of Appreciative Inquiry highly enough and I'm sure if I did the two days again, I would gain bucket-loads more from each workshop!"
Contact us today to find out more about these workshops.
Why Change Programs Fail
by Leslie Allan
Organizations and the Change Imperative
The rate of organizational change has not slowed in recent years. In fact, with the Global Financial Crisis continuing to send shock waves to all four corners of the globe, the frequency of change appears to be increasing.
Consider the other myriad drivers of change. For example, the rapid and continual innovation in technology is forever requiring changes to organizational systems and processes. Witness the startling growth of the internet and micro-devices, which is enabling much faster and easier access to knowledge. Add to this the increased expectations of employees as they move more freely between organizations. It is no wonder that relentless change has become a fact of organizational life.
In spite of the importance and permanence of organizational change, most change initiatives fail to deliver the expected organizational benefits. Research over many years indicates that well over half of major change initiatives fail. Kotter, McKinsey and Blanchard put the failure rate at 70% whilst a recent IBM Corporation study reports a failure rate of almost 60%.
Common Reasons for Change Program Failure
Poor executive sponsorship or senior management support
Active and ongoing leadership from the top is an essential prerequisite for achieving change outcomes. Where there is poor communication from the management team, lack of real commitment and a shortage of allocated resources, employees quickly see through to the real story. In one survey of change practitioners, 92% cited top management sponsorship as the most important factor in successful change programs.
Lack of employee involvement in the change process
Executives and managers who can marshal the support of employees win the day. The principle of participation illustrates how people allowed a hand in their destiny show the highest commitment to the change goals. In one study, leaders who actively sought to engage employees in the change effort enjoyed a 70% success rate.
Continue reading the reasons for change program failure.
If you or your managers are struggling with bringing about change in your organization, then check out Leslie Allan's Managing Change in the Workplace.
This acclaimed resource will guide you through every step of the change process with a wealth of worksheets, checklists and tools. Supplementing Leslie's hands on approach is his unique change process model that makes sense out of the seeming chaos. Download the
free introductory chapter and start using
Managing Change in the Workplace today!
"To date, Managing Change in the Workplace is the best resource I have found anywhere to help me do my work. I am more confident when I approach assignments now than I had ever been before. I would recommend the guide to anyone involved in change management without any reservations."
Cindy Emmanuel McLean, Change Management Consultant
Meet Our Expert of the Month - Chris Bennett
Have you met our team of expert consultants, coaches and trainers? This month we proudly feature Chris Bennett. Chris has over 25 years' experience as a trainer, facilitator, and speaker. He is passionate about helping individuals and groups achieve positive, transformational change in the areas of personal and professional development and wellbeing. He uses a strength focused approach with a unique combination of practical Tai Chi exercises and philosophy plus Appreciative Inquiry.
Chris has worked with many organizations across business, government, and non-profit sectors, including large corporations, state and local government departments, SMEs, schools and sporting clubs. He has a highly flexible approach and adapts his sessions, presentations, workshops and conference energizers so the best possible outcome can be achieved. Chris explains his approach, "People need to want to change before it can become truly transformational change. I see my role essentially as a facilitator of change. To help that process along, my sessions are interactive, fun, and practical".
Chris, with business partner Sue James, is currently organizing their The Essence of Appreciative Inquiry workshops, to run in Australia. Alongside these, they will also be delivering a new workshop called Performance Management Fundamentals. And in his 'spare' time, Chris is writing a memoir. Contact us today to find out more about how Chris Bennett can help you.
Visit our web site at
www.BusinessPerform.com for lots of expert guidance and practical tools designed to help you get ahead of your competition. Also, be sure to pass this newsletter on to friends and colleagues who want to stay up with what's on. From all of us here on the Business Performance team, we wish you a productive month and look forward to communicating with you again soon.
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