Implementing changes in your business, big or small, is a challenge. From switching to flexible or mobile working to bringing in new management or a complete overhaul of your processes, seeing those changes through successfully is a tough task.

Companies often spend huge financial and people resources on change programmes, and yet according to Towers Watson via Forbes, only 55% of change management objectives are met and only 25% of change programmes achieve long term success.

How is it that so many highly trained executives drive such low levels of success?

Getting the processes right is just one piece of the puzzle, without buy-in from your workforce your changes won’t be sustainable.

There are six key questions to ask yourself before implementing any kind of change in your business:

  • Is the leader of the change providing a clear and compelling vision, with the emotional intelligence to see the impact on individuals from different perspectives?
  • Is there a clear measure of success which will be recognised by all the stakeholders?
  • Does the leader have the appropriate support from the opinion leaders at mixed levels across the company
  • Do people feel involved and committed to the change process?
  • Do managers have the competence, confidence and commitment to provide one-to-one support for those people affected directly and indirectly by the change?
  • Have we developed our people to enable them to drive change? Are they willing to change? Or do we need to change the people?

Many leaders misunderstand the emotional impact that change can have on their people. For example, the straightforward actions of moving from the territorial “this is my desk” towards the agility of homeworking and hot-desking can release so many negative emotions. Yet so many organisations take the logical view of why it is good for them, forgetting the negative emotions associated with changes in territory, familiarity and routine.

John Kotter’s international bestseller “Leading Change” identifies the reasons why changes fail and provides the solutions in his eight-stage transformation model. However, the application of this model will only contribute to success if the right people are leading the change.

And this is the precise point. It’s all about leading not managing.

Once you are clear that you have the right person to lead the change, you can then call upon Kotter’s expertise to ensure that your transformation will lead to long term benefits for your company.

At Empathy we help organisations and people to make a success of change. For more information please get in touch at

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