Change Management - The Hard Side!
Updated: May 18, 2021
The article The Hard Side of Change Management by Harold L. Sirkin, Perry Keenan, and Alan Jackson (HBR October, 2005) has been a long-time favorite of mine. The title itself is engaging particularly for someone who thinks that the Change Management practices that are seen on large initiatives are often just poor excuses for communications and training efforts and subsequent death by PowerPoint. Change Management done right is hard. Sirkin, Keenan, and Jackson here state “Top-level commitment is vital to engendering commitment from those at the coal face. If employees don’t see that the company’s leadership is backing a project, they’re unlikely to change. No amount of top-level support is too much. “ For sure this is true, but I feel it misses one vital ingredient – the alignment of those leaders around the initiative itself. Executive and leadership alignment is in my opinion, a key if not the key success factor for a successful transformation or large-scale initiative.
What is alignment? How do we align around an initiative? How do we know we are aligned? These are the really hard questions. Questions we are answering at AlignedAround. I would welcome your thoughts.