Extensive research by McKinsey and many others shows that 70% of change programmes fail to achieve at least one of their most important objectives. Most people occupying the C Suite know this. Yet organisations across the globe launch change programmes believing that ‘this time will be different.’
Confidence often stems from belief in the company culture. The organisation knows how to get things done and solve problems – it’s what we do all the time. The other source of confidence is the conviction of the people leading the change.
What leaders tend to forget is history – the previous change initiatives that fizzed and popped for a while before fading. Sadly, your team doesn’t forget. Right there, from day zero, your change initiative is at risk. There is a disconnect between the enthusiasm of the change leaders and the fatigue of people at all levels through the organisation. This disconnect is part of what we call the ‘performance climate.’
Climate is how members of an organisation view and experience what might best be described as the mood or atmosphere within their team across six critical performance dimensions: goals, roles and process (transactional performance), and adaptability, connection and resilience (transformational performance). The Performance Climate System (PCS) helps you accurately track the performance climate across the organisation.
The Right Climate for Change
If your people are not ready to change then neither is your organisation. Even change programmes that start well often run out of steam as team members become progressively disconnected. People leading the change understand the need for it, they see all of the activity and stay motivated. Those affected by the change feel a bit left out. Some may just see the prospect of change for change’s sake or a threat to their job.
Unless you can measure the divergence between the leaders’ views and commitment levels, and those of their teams, before, during and after the change programme, failure becomes almost inevitable.
The other danger with change programmes is that organisations can lose focus on current processes. In other words, transactional performance drops off. This brings potential impacts with customer satisfaction, quality and safety. Transformational performance is getting all the attention.
PCS is based on extensive research into the link between climate, performance and leadership effect. It allows you to benchmark teams of different sizes, shapes and outputs to obtain a universal measure of performance.
For complex organisations the Organisational Performance Dashboard (OPD) provides a clear picture of the critical dimensions of performance right across your organisation. You can quickly identify performance risks and make purposeful targeted interventions.