By Jeff Brunings
Transformational Change is Built Upon Seven Elements of Success—Take One Away and Change Management Comes Crashing Down

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

The idea of organizational change is as hot now as it ever has been. Change is the catalyst for creating a different outcome. What is the outcome your organization seeks? What are the things that need to be done differently or better than how they are today? What’s preventing change from happening?

If you’re serious about answering these questions honestly there are different approaches you can take. Our approach is usually the simplest, most pragmatic one. We won’t go on and on with insights from academia, best-sellers, or case studies. But we will share something we’ve modified over the years that originated with a well-adopted diagnostic tool for complex change management. We’ve found it useful for building a mental construct of the foundational elements supporting successful transformational change.

Like an imbalanced Jenga tower, pull any one of the pieces away and your tower crashes.

Successful change is supported by a critical few things that must be in place for the end result of successful change to happen. They include shared vision, differentiated strategy, resourced goals, accountable action planning, consistent C-suite communication, and strategy-based meetings. When an organization puts money, energy, and time into making all of these happen contiguously, transformational change happens.

Now, let the tower fall by taking a piece out one at a time and see what happens.

First, what happens when all pieces of the puzzle are there, but “shared vision” is missing?

That’s right, a lack of a collective vision shared across the organization from the C-suite to the front-lines creates disengagement among the ranks, even when all other vital components are still firing on all cylinders.

Let’s take another one out. How about “differentiated strategy?”

Having a differentiable strategy means it’s not being replicated by someone else. Without a strategy based on your organization’s competitive advantages and a unique value proposition that’s important to customers, your strategy will fail.

Fun yet a bit scary, isn’t it? So, what happens when “resourced goals” is extricated? By “resourced goals” we mean goals that are supported by appropriate budget, people, time, and prioritization. So, what happens?

That’s right. A goal without resources is like a plane without wings. It isn’t going to fly. And without the seven elements of success, transformation change isn’t going to happen with the outcome you desire.

Our next newsletter will cover what happens when we pull out the remaining pieces, one-by-one, including accountable action planning, consistent C-suite communication, and strategy-based management meetings. In the meantime, keep your tower steady.

Jeff Brunings

With over 20 years management experience in multi-industry environments, Jeff drives customer experience by advancing the effectiveness of OnStrategy’s cloud-based platform and services.