Does change management need to change?

By Bill Springer on July 11, 2013

“As a recognized discipline, change management has been in existence for over half a century,” writes Ron Ashkenas on “Yet despite the huge investment that companies have made in tools, training, and thousands of books (over 83,000 on Amazon), most studies still show a 60-70% failure rate for organizational change projects—a statistic that has stayed constant from the 1970s to the present.

“Given this evidence, is it possible that everything we know about change management is wrong and that we need to go back to the drawing board? Should we abandon Kotter’s eight success factors, Blanchard’s moving cheese, and everything else we know about engagement, communication, small wins, building the business case, and all of the other elements of the change management framework?

“While it might be plausible to conclude that we should rethink the basics, let me suggest an alternative explanation: The content of change management is reasonably correct, but the managerial capacity to implement it has been woefully underdeveloped.”

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Mitchell Nash, our own change and transition expert, wholeheartedly agrees. “It is not enough to just have all leaders and managers be held accountable for the results or outcomes of the change initiative. They also need to be accountable for the buy-in and engagement of their employees. Understanding the challenging transitions that people go through in dealing with change, and being able to coach them through it, is what we see as the ultimate accountability for successful change leaders.”

Are you and your organization experiencing changes that are more traumatic than transformational? It doesn’t have to be that way. Click here to learn more.

More about Mitchell

Nash_MitchellMitchell Nash is a Regional Vice President, Principal Consultant, and leader of Linkage’s Change and Transition Leadership practice. He has over 20 years of experience leading, facilitating, and supporting large-scale change initiatives and has unique expertise in facilitating organizational impact by using technological, organizational, and leadership development solutions.

Posted in Blog

About Bill Springer

When Bill Springer isn't writing for our Leadership Insights Blog, he's usually pushing a baby stroller, sailing, or riding bikes.....long distances.
One comment on “Does change management need to change?
  1. Robin Cook says:

    I would say that there’s a basic, foundational premise flaw in “change management” – it’s based on essentially trying to push a change down the stakeholders’ throats. In my experience, once change management comes into play it’s already too late – the change has been fully designed & implementation is in process when those effected by the change have not had any input into developing it & thus have no buy-in whatsoever. Which means that it’s doomed to fail.

    Successful change initiatives involve all those who will be effected by it from the very start. Such a process not only creates far better solutions, but also maximizes acceptance, since everyone feels that they’ve had a say in the outcomes.

    People don’t resist change. If they did, we’d still be hunter-gatherers living in caves. What people resist is BEING CHANGED. & it seems to me that being changed is the whole premise of change management.

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