Why Transformation and Change Initiatives Fail

Apparently according to research it’s around 75%. Deloitte issued a report last year with findings about digital transformations stating about 80% failed to meet their defined aims.

Generally in my conversations with business leaders and HR leaders and based on my own experience in the corporate world over 30 years is does seem that most change initiatives fail to meet their stated objectives. That’s not to say all are complete failures.

So why is that? I think there’s a myriad of reasons and of course every initiative is unique in some way. Here’s my take on a few key areas that need to be understood and addressed to minimise the likelihood of benefit leakage and limit the delta of failure to meet stated objectives.

1.    Being really clear about and pinpointing what the success indicators look like. What will it be like when we deliver this? How will it feel? How will people talk, act, etc?

2.    Understanding the consequences of delivering this change? What’s going to happen in our organisation and in our relationships? What’s going be different about the way that we need to behave as leaders, as managers, as colleagues, as suppliers to our customers, etc?

3.    Knowing what we have to give up, let go of or change to move from where we are to that aspiration that we have? Often we have not really thought about what that is, what it means for us and how we move ourselves forward.

…and what works, and doesn’t work in organisational change and transformation, applies equally in personal change.

I find spending time on these three areas really useful in the exploration and planning phase of projects and interventions.

Lesz Sikorski

  • People Strategist, coach and advisor with 30 years global MNC experience in leading change and organisation development
  • Certificated professional coach
  • Lived on 2 continents, worked on 6 and visited over 45 countries
  • Previous roles have included HR Director APAC, Group Head of Organisational Development, Project Director – Change & Development and Global Programme Manager, Operational Improvement