Why transformations fail (and how to make them a success)
So I was doing some research over the weekend for an investor article and I googled "why transformations fail".
I found this 2019 McKinsey partner interview , and check out the very first reason provided:
"The first reason is that the top team isn’t aligned around the change story or the change story isn’t really compelling from a hearts-and-minds perspective. A lot of folks are excited about financials and share price and their incentive compensation. But other people need different sources of meaning. You need to tell a story that’s meaningful to everyone."
And I quote: "The change story isn't really compelling from a hearts-and-minds perspective."
No shit Sherlock! Being a Change Leadership expert, it seems like such a no-brainer that we need to engage the hearts and minds of our people to get buy in, commitment and ownership **mic drop**. In fact, that's why I ran last week's webinar on "Engaging Hearts and Minds through Change". It explored super simple ways to get your organisation and team on board with your change.
But the sad truth is, and the reason this guy raised it first and upfront, engaging hearts and minds is still seen as an add-on, additional effort or nice-to-have, rather than a design principle or mandatory requirement for transformation programs. I know this - I recently did a webinar for a bunch of Project Managers and they openly shared that Change is usually the first part of the program budget that's cut. Ironically, that's the biggest reason your transformation or change efforts will fail - people just aren't on board.
It's a no-brainer to us change leaders.
But we Changies are a really unique bunch.
We are not the norm.
We are not the usual.
We are not the obvious.
I know it can feel like you're pushing water uphill.
I know it can feel like your words are falling on deaf ears.
I know it can feel like people are expecting to you to wave a magic wand and get rid of all resistance to change.
You are who you are, and you believe what you believe, for a reason.
Because you are a way-shower.
You light the path ahead and invite others to join you in the way forward.
They may not see it now, but they will.
So the way to stop transformations failing?
As I shared in last week's webinar, you've got to always be operating on two levels: the organisation/team group level, and the individual level. It's what I call the Engagement Formula, I teach it in my Leading Successful Change program, and it's super powerful because it takes you top-down and bottom-up to meet in the middle.
When you craft a compelling group vision and true aligned group benefits of the change, and then guide your stakeholders and impacted teams to create their own personal vision and What's In It For Me, engagement runs deep. The mind understands it, the heart believes it, and success follows.
This message of engaging hearts and minds isn't new. But it still isn't widely known. And I want it to be.
So I'm going to be writing an e-book and the attendees from the webinar I hosted last week are lucky little duckies who get a free copy and will be the first to read it (you're welcome!).
For everyone else, I'll let you know when pre-orders open ahead of the book launch.
In the meantime, keep showing the way.
More people than you know are already following.
Lata Hamilton is a Change Leadership expert and the creator of Leading Successful Change, a 6-week course that will grow your confidence to lead change end-to-end so you can have the influence and impact you want. Join the waitlist here to be notified when registrations next open.