Implementation Insights Blog

Implementation Management Associates help organizations around the world achieve large-scale, complex change. This blog discusses our insights into organizational change.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Organizational Transformation Stress is Widespread

There is one thing almost every organization today has in common; there is too much going on, and it's creating an epidemic of organizational stress. When we work with senior leaders on organizational transformation, we talk about the need for focus and prioritization of business change projects. Organizations really need to limit themselves to 3 to 5 major organizational transformation priorities.

If you have 12 priorities, how many do you really have? None!

This is a hard message for senior leaders to deal with, because they have so much focus on the design of strategies, and much less emphasis on the implementation. The design of the strategy represents about 15% of the work effort of business change projects. Implementation is 85%, and it is the really hard work of organizational transformation.

It's not unusual for senior leaders to agree to scale back priorities while they are in the room-- and then business change projects and programs start multiplying again like rabbits. Sometimes leaders will try and lump several business change projects under one program, so that it appears to be a single business change project. The fact remains, though, that organizational transformation changes are difficult enough, but when there is too much going on, with too few resources, implementation of business changes slows down and trust erodes.

When leaders understand that they have to "focus down to speed up" organizational transformation, they will be better positioned for implementation success. Organizations that truly prioritize are much more likely to implement at speed.

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