Wednesday, 28 March 2018 18:25

How the implementation of organizational change is evolving


Digital solutions pose new and unique challenges to the implementation of major change efforts. But the capabilities that support better outcomes remain as critical as ever, a new survey shows.
Companies face different challenges today when implementing large-scale changes than they did in 2014, according to a new McKinsey Global Survey on the subject.1 In particular, digitization poses new obstacles to implementation, and digital transformations require executives to focus on different priorities and capabilities.

Across all types of transformations, few survey respondents say their organizations’ change efforts have both improved performance and sustained those improvements. Since the previous survey, organizations have not become much better at executing the core capabilities and practices that support success in large-scale change programs. But in the case of digital transformations—which over half of respondents report as their organizations’ most recent change efforts—the results point to key practices that can improve the odds of success.

The changing face of transformations

The latest survey results indicate that success remains elusive. Only 37 percent of respondents report successful implementations; we call this group “top implementers.”2 The most common practices for supporting successful change efforts remain the same as in 2014. These include leaders owning and committing to the change being made, role modeling new behaviors, and devoting appropriate time and energy to supporting the change. But compared with the previous survey, smaller shares of respondents report leaders’ ownership of and commitment to change, effective processes for prioritizing change initiatives, and regular tracking of change efforts’ progress. When asked about organizational practices more broadly—beyond change efforts—respondents also report declining employee commitment. Fifty-five percent of respondents say employees spend most of their time on organizational priorities and value-adding activities associated with the transformation, down from 68 percent of respondents who said so previously.

Read more by clicking here.