CEOs typically drive their organizations to new heights and growth but, in the process can break integration by pitting one group against another. 

When CEOs encourage their leadership teams to outsmart the competition, it can produce an unhealthy siloing within the organization. Of course, this is rarely the intention but rather an unintended consequence with an undesirable effect.

In real-world testing, our consulting firm has discovered that great strategy emerges spontaneously at least as often as it’s deliberately planned! This is a surprising observation given all of the guided facilitation that many consulting firms use within a rigid planning framework. To encourage new ideas that are designed in the moment requires an organization that is comfortable thinking about new ways of doing and changing things.

Managing change

Using traditional plan–and–act growth planning models are becoming far less effective. With hundreds of research hours to draw from, we have concluded that it really is time to rethink change using a culture-driven approach.

The 2021 Foundry Report (Formerly IDG Communications) found 89% of organizations have adopted or plan to adopt a digital-first strategy. A major digital transformation that involves a new process, new digital tools, and typically involves a company-wide change usually fails. Given the millions of dollars spent on these IT transformations, this is a shocking statistic. 

What causes these projects to fail? In many cases, where a formal transformation is desired, the central factor being implemented is technology which often ignores the human involvement that makes them successful.

So often organizational change focuses on implementing technology, and the final goal of full adoption of a tool or platform, while completely overlooking the all-important human element. It’s quite understandable that when new technology is introduced, the criteria to evaluate the project’s success focuses on the technology. However, a rollout and adoption rarely includes how it has impacted its employees and customers or how it should be changed based upon their input.

Encouraging change

Today’s workplace is 100% different from just 10 years ago, let alone 50 years ago. Yet, the business management principles of strategic planning have not changed with the times. So many industry rules have been re-written during the past 10 years to accommodate a far more creative marketplace with far more choices than ever before. This is what is disrupting traditional change management.

Organizations and their leaders have moved away from routine, non–core tasks to allow for a more creative workflow where people can improve and grow together. This is at the heart of high organizational effectiveness and performance that we see by those organizations employing human creativity and care for the human soul. New principles that many leaders need to embrace and encourage.

Change is no longer a once-a-year process of planning. For successful companies, it occurs each day throughout all levels of the organization.