Success of change (improvement) programs

28 Jun 2010 Sandeep Mehta

Financial Times has another interesting take on success of process improvement projects in Management – Failing to cope with change? 

At the meeting, survey data were presented which suggested that, while 37 per cent of UK board members believed that their change programmes were generally successful, only 5 per cent of middle managers did. 

As we discussed in the recent post on key success factors for lasting process improvement results, managers have an inordinate amount of responsibility and power to drive success.

A confident leadership team may know that the right choices have been made. But it may take longer for this to become apparent to the rest of the organisation. Of course, there are two other possible explanations for this gap in perception: wishful thinking in the boardroom or plain bad communication. 

The keys to success (real not imaginary) remain the same: long-term focus, metrics, rewards/raises tied to metrics and manager involvement.  I guess the point the article makes may be important to – a consistent simple message from the executives (and board) to the teams:

Send a small number of simple messages again and again,” he advised. “And the larger the organisation, the simpler the message has to be.

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