Thursday, August 7, 2008

Avoiding conditions that encourage failure.

There are always brambles on the path to success. In 1969, Richard Beckhard at MIT listed the following conditions for the failure of change initiatives:

- A gap between what management says and what it does.

- A flurry of activities without clearly defined change goals.

- Confusion over ends and means.

- Too short a time framework.

- No linkage between different change efforts.

- Overdependance on inside or outside specialists.

- A gap between efforts at the top and in the middle of the organization.

- Confusing good relationships as an end rather than as a condition.

- A search for cookbook solutions.

- Applying intervention strategies in an inappropriate way.

- Trying to put new wine in old bottles.

The best opportunities for change occur where people are really bothered by their inability to cope with the current situation and there are no standard solutions. New ideas are most readily received by those in new situations who have something they want to get done, have few preconceived ideas about the right or normal way to do it, and have little to lose by adopting the new.

Victor Hugo said, “There's nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Unfortunately, many people begin to realize the time has come only long after it has arrived.

Next week, we'll begin to focus on what makes effective management and leadership in today's world.

But first, tomorrow is poetry day.........

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