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Cascading Change

September 30, 2009 by Peter Tollman, Rolf Bixner, Perry Keenan, and Kimberly Powell
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In This Article
  • While most change programs fail, a few companies beat the odds and achieve measurable and sustainable business results.
  • These companies recognize that the ability to change is a source of competitive advantage.
  • They ensure that the leadership group is aligned on the goals and means of change.
  • They transfer that alignment to employees through respect and empowerment and by giving them the structure and the tools to succeed.
  • Finally, they alter course in response to input from their feedback systems.
 

Despite the failure of at least two-thirds of corporate change programs, a few companies consistently defy the odds and achieve sustainable and measurable success. Rather than suffer from lost opportunity, these companies achieve higher performance—driven by greater customer retention, lower costs, faster growth, or whatever ambitious target they set.

What is their secret? These companies recognize that the ability to change is a source of competitive advantage. They ensure that the leadership group is aligned on the goals and means of change, and they transfer that alignment to employees through respect and empowerment and by giving them the structure and the tools to succeed. Finally, they alter course in response to input from their feedback systems. We call this process of alignment cascading change.