Book coverIn the current fast changing and turbulent environment, everyone agrees change is a must. In reality however, organisational change remains a difficult game to play today.

The large majority of companies still struggle to implement change successfully. The reason for failure is that change is a complex phenomenon that requires mastery of various skills – including strategy and project management, but also people and cultural management. Many so-called failures are actually change projects that have been partially installed, rather than fully implemented. Many managers consider change an event, not a dynamic process that needs to be managed continuously. As a result, anticipated results are never achieved, or not sustained.

Change programmes need to be based on strong strategic analyses. However, our research reveals that few organisations can claim they have a clear and robust strategy that boosts energy to tackle their change problems well. In addition, we found that implementing the strategic projects through sound programme and project management present a big challenge for most companies. Those companies clearly struggle with the ‘hard’ side of change.

Moreover, we see that most managers want to move too fast. They quickly want to tackle the next business issue while the rest of the organisation is still digesting the previous change efforts. These managers have mismanaged the ‘soft’ side of change. Change managers ignore the fact that emotional responses of the ‘change subjects’ – such as resistance to change and political jockeying – will trump rational elements almost every time. Employees may oppose a move away from their status quo if they fear that the change will have negative consequences for them. Managers forget to align the change agenda with the organisation’s culture. Change managers often underestimate the costs and challenges associated with change, especially the costs of the human component, while they overestimate the benefits.

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Last but not least, managers lack the leadership skills necessary to turn the organisation around. Initiatives often stall when there is a mismatch between a change leader’s words and actions, or if confidence in the change agent is low. Does the change leader coerce employees to follow? Or does (s)he seduce followers? Does the change leader act as a role model? And is (s)he creating the readiness to change and commitment at every level of the organisation?

This book wants to inspire. It does not aim to give you a predefined, one size fits all scheme on how to guide or implement change. Rather, it offers you an integrative framework of six batteries to help you to build your own change approach in your company. It creates awareness about the strengths and the blind spots of your change programme. For this purpose, we’ve introduced a new concept, the Batteries of Change, because we believe that effective change is all about managing organisational energy. This book will help you finding, creating and maintaining the necessary organisational energy to implement your change projects.

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Kurt, Peter & Geert© Ioannis Tsouloulis