This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

What, Really, is Change Management?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Many companies are perpetually awash in improvement projects. Yet, all too often, projects succeed in producing committed deliverables, but fail to achieve performance goals. By the end, all that remains are project documents filed in electronic team rooms, like the final scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Why do so many big ideas achieve so little? Because most projects focus on deliverables rather than on behavior change. If improvement projects fail to create behavior change -- if people do the same things this week as they did last week -- the project adds no value at all.

For example, if you designed an outstanding employee selection protocol, but no one uses it, you failed. Changing behavior to align with business strategies is the objective of change management.

Many executives underestimate the importance of change management. They think that good people will readily adopt "good" thinking.

Not so. Even good people think about their own needs first. This makes leading change very complex. It not only requires excellent diagnostic and solution development skills, but also political insight and influence skills. These skills are difficult to teach in a classroom. They're learned through the school of hard knocks.

Contrast the job of a physician with that of a change management professional. Physicians assess the patients' symptoms, triangulate the symptoms in their head or with the aid of a computer, render a diagnosis and prescribe a treatment.

Now, consider the complexity of making large-scale organizational change. Is the diagnosis correct and solution sufficient to completely resolve the problem? How do the desired changes align with the organization's history, culture, processes and IT and HR systems? How must past disputes between key stakeholders be considered during implementation?

Let's look at change management through three high-level principles.

Principle No. 1: Stakeholders Must Believe They Own the Change

A well-known theory of behavioral science is Reactance Theory. The theory states that humans react negatively when their freedoms or choices are threatened. Reactance occurs when someone is heavily pressured to accept a certain view or attitude.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,191.37 -195.84 -1.13%
S&P 500 2,002.16 -27.39 -1.35%
NASDAQ 4,637.9940 -43.5030 -0.93%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs