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How come that so many nice change initiatives never reach the end of implementation and/or execution? Although change on itself is no goal, most foreseen changes are initiated to realize significant improvements, often needed to survive, in rapidly changing business environments. The reasons for failure in collecting the euro’s, will differ for each organization. Failure rates this high prove however that sustainable change is complex and difficult to realize.

Traditional approaches may not work and a new change approach, a new mindset and new actions need to be considered. Change knowledge, skills and most of all proven success track records and experience are required. Taking a calculated risk of 70% failure is no option — especially in light of the fact that the pace of change is accelerating at the fastest rate in recorded history.

In the need of change there are 5 stages to consider:

1. Change readiness is the ability to continuously initiate and respond to demands in ways that create advantage, minimize risk, and sustain performance. The age-old challenge: balancing the tension between the internal and external focus required to do all three equally. The continuous and integrated approach to change requires coordinated participation of everyone in the company. All should be ready to anticipate and act on change demands.
2. Change Awareness is a company’s ability to redefine itself as necessary. Good change awareness practices include scanning the environment for opportunities, focusing on emerging trends and planning for the future.
3. Change Clarity is a company’s ability to scope the change and set smart change goals.
4. Change Acceptance asks for the company’s ability to involve all stakeholders, gain acceptance on the change goals and the active participation of all. This should be an organic bottom up process.
5. Change Realisation asks for a realistic planning, taking on going business and tasks into consideration as well as the learning process time. On time in full delivery is needed to obtain shared celebrations on successes instead of commonly shared frustrations leading to nothing.
In need of change, the change initiator should therefor ask him/herself many questions to come to a successful change and improved results:

a) Does my company have people with the skills and capacity for regularly assessing the market for new opportunities and market changes?

b) Does my company proactively search for opportunities for renewal and innovation?

c) How effectively do my leaders and I assess risk and manage unplanned change at my company?

d) How well does my organization react and respond to crisis?

e) How conscious is my organisation of the need of improvement?

f) Are all my managers and employees aware of the impact of change?

g) Are all stakeholders involved in goal setting and planning?

h) How agile is my organisation in change of strategy and objectives?

i) How engaged is my organisation to the companies well-being?

j) How disciplined is my organisation in realizing plans?

k) Are all structures and systems in place to realise our dreams?

And many more……….

If any of the answers, given to the questions above, was a NO, you may be very close to one of the reasons of failure.