Leaders know trying to change a company is hard work. In fact, it’s so difficult that nearly 75% of transformation efforts fail.
A McKinsey & Company study shows that only 26% of business transformations are successful. So what makes a successful transformation?
The team at McKinsey found 24 key activities that business leaders can do to improve their chances of a sustained improvement over time. There were two major themes coming out of these 24 activities.
Communication is the biggest factor in leading an organization through transformation. Three areas of communication bring the most value when leading change:
- Business leaders communicate openly about the transformation’s progress and success. Your team needs to know how well they are doing. This applies not only to their individual performance but also to the significant changes happening across the entire organization.
- Senior leaders communicate openly about the transformation’s implications for individuals. The natural instinct for many people is to avoid change, conflict and difficulty. However, your people want to know what’s changing and how they will be impacted.
- Leaders used a consistent change story. McKinsey reports that nearly half of the leaders in the study said they wish they had spent more time communicating a change story.
A second key factor to change a company is empowering employees to lead transformation efforts. It’s important to get the leaders and influencers onboard with the changes.
Here are the top three ways to engage and empower employees:
- Leaders who are responsible for change initiatives were held accountable for outcomes. Wherever possible employee performance evaluations need to include metrics that measure the effectiveness of the change.
- Roles and responsibilities in the transformation are clearly defined. Gray areas do not force collaboration. Instead they become areas that are neglected and ignored.
- The company allocates sufficient personnel to support the initiative. Few things can undercut your best laid plans faster than not having the people in place to execute them.
Changing a company is hard. Give your team the best chance of success by having a clear communication plan and empowering employees to get the transformational work done.