The Necessary Ingredient for a Successful Organizational Change Project

By Barb McAllister, MS, MCC. If you’ve been like me, someone who’s worked both within and outside organizations, you’ve likely seen some “failed” organizational change projects. The failed change projects can take many forms. The reorganization did not solve the “problem.” The problem people were still a problem in their new organizational setting. The new processes never took hold because the people waited them out saying, “this too shall pass.” Once the leader of the change effort moved on, everything gradually returned back to the way it once was.

Is this all too familiar? It is to me. As an outside coach and consultant, I’ve seen a number of organizations reorganize every couple of years, hoping the new reorg will finally solve the problem. It didn’t. Why? Because the people didn’t change. And what I hold to be true is that for an organization to change, the people must change. The reason so many change efforts fail is because they don’t address the human dimension of change.

Enter 3 Vital Questions: Transforming Workplace Drama, by David Emerald. This book addresses the human dimension of change. It provides a framework for leaders and em­ployees in organizations to examine their mindset, their patterns, their drama, and their behaviors and actions. It provides a roadmap to taking personal responsibility for creating a culture that is productive and empowering. The three vital questions leaders and employees must ask them­ selves are:

  1. Where are you putting your focus? Do teams or individuals focus on reacting to prob­lems or on creating outcomes/results?
  2. How are you relating to yourself and others? Am I relating in ways that produce or per­petuate drama, or in ways that empower myself and others to be more resilient and resource­ful?
  3. What actions are you, your team or the organization taking? Are they reactions to the problem du jour, or are they generative steps that move towards desired outcomes/vision?

This book can be a great guide for you or your clients in creating a successful organizational change. While personal change can be scary for some, this book shows how individuals and teams can make the necessary shifts to create a great culture. When individuals are willing to take responsibility for how they show up, a change effort can be successful. Help show them the way.

To learn more about leading organizational change and the human dimension, schedule a consultation with Barb.