New Study on Organization Change Management Failure

[The study delivers] a tough, but needed, message. HR leaders get thrown under the bus for these projects too often, which leads them to reach for visible, but ineffective, change implementation tactics.

To that end, I really like the point about realism re: expectations. Many change initiatives are heavy on marketing-style communications, which are easy to produce and point to as a tangible work product. But they’re often only one-way messages about how great the Brave New World will be. A multi-layered stakeholder management approach is a lot tougher, requires sustained effort over time, and has less-tangible payback.

Ultimately, function and process leaders need to own the change initiatives for their areas, which is why CEO ownership and involvement — again, sustained over time — is so critical. Line managers and staff won’t respond if it’s just a speech, new PowerPoint templates, and a monthly newsletter. They will wait until the change project is noticed, measured, and rewarded by the leadership team.

Adapted from my comment on a LinkedIn post re: this Forbes article from Victor Lipman: “New Study Explores Why Change Management Fails – And How To (Perhaps) Succeed“.

More on bridging the PM/Executive communications gap

I hope I didn’t scare you off the latest PM Network (September 2009) with my recent lament about a column (my lament is here).  The piece assumed that we still needed to convince PMs that they had to be business savvy. 

In fact, this issue is chock full of articles that assume PMs get that and want to get savvier.  One piece — Talking the Talk — hits on a number of recent Crossderry themes.  It echoes an earlier post about bridging the PM/Management Gap (here), but it speaks to the executive who wants to improve his/her communications with project managers.  The opening grafs hit the main challenge:

To the executive ear, project managers seem to be speaking an entirely different language.  “A lot of executives think project management is all Gantt charts and paperwork, so they tune those conversations out,” says Eric Morfin, partner, Critical Skills Inc., San Diego, California, USA 

My suggestion: take this article and use it to shape your exchanges with executives.  If you have a executive mentor,  “how to leverage these ideas” would make a great subject for your next chat.

Texting, Talking, Twitter, and I’m getting old

I felt my age when saw this post on Texting vs. Talking (post here) by Kathleen Moriarty at relentlessPR.  It isn’t that I don’t prefer texting to talking — I am a weakish, but definitite “I” on my MBTI.   Texting gives a bit of distance that is attractive to this introvert.

Perhaps it’s because I related so heavily to my future as a parent when I read this passage:

Luckily for parents, texting is a great way for them to communicate with their kids. 68% of American parents communicate with their kids by text message, and 53% of texting kids say that their relationship with their parents has improved because of texting. It’s an easy way for parents to touch base with their kids without intruding too much – it’s much easier for kids to send a discreet text message to their parents rather than to actually call them when out with friends.

Of course, perhaps it was because Kathleen’s post reminded me of a recent episode where I also felt my age. I was asked by two correspondents — within a day of each other — to point them to my Twitter feed.  I had to sheepishly explain that I don’t tweet and likely won’t for a while. Twitter would just kill my day job.   Also, the “always-on” connectivity would eat into my personal life (though I could give round-the-clock Jon updates).

But most of all, the idea that people would care enough to follow me on Twitter 24/7/365 would be too much encouragement for my already overly-developed ego.  If my colleagues and family think I’m insufferable now…  :-)

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