Why You Can’t Manage Change

As important as dealing with change is, the statistics on successfully implementing change in organizations is dismal. According to most studies, more than two thirds of change initiatives fail to achieve their stated objectives. But that does not stop many people from repeating the same old mistakes that have led to this lack of success.

Dealing with the speed the market place moves, how innovation is disrupting long established practices, and the necessity for accelerating and improving responsiveness to clients, managing change is a constant issue for every thoughtful leader – and person.

Do you know why managing change does not work?

Change cannot be managed – it must be led. What I mean by this is that successfully implementing serious change requires crossing a chasm of the unknown, the uncertain, and the ever changing. This requires the perspective and skills of a leader who understands what it takes to create a future of meaningful and valuable outcomes.

Managing activities and processes – the focus of a manager – is most often doomed to failure when major gaps in building the bridge from the current state to the ultimate, high value destination keep popping up. The failures of managing change include:

  • Addressing change as a process
  • More attention to the execution plan than the communication plan
  • Focus on activities instead of engaging their people with the desired result
  • Keeping key information secret instead of transparently sharing critical understandings
  • Running a to-do list instead of instilling clarity about the vision and goals

Leaders understand the need for clarity of vision, a compelling engagement with the mission, and focus on meaningful results. This includes the need to communicate clearly and consistently, and building flexibility and responsiveness.

Often change introduces gaps you could not anticipate or expect. Leadership requires vigilance in building the bridge between where you are and where you want to be, and very often, revision of the strategies is essential tor realization of the ultimate destination.

Leading – not managing – is the essential mindset for any substantive change in your organization, at every level, from a small team to the whole company. Managing activities keeps the focus on pieces of the puzzle. Leading requires a clear articulation of a compelling vision that focuses everyone on meaningful impact, value, and results. If your people are not moved by the vision of possibilities, and that new, desired state being significantly greater than where they are now – your change is likely fated to fail.

Here is our one minute, 38 second video on how to get beyond managing change: http://bit.ly/SteveOnChange

To your success,


By | 2017-03-30T13:23:07+00:00 March 27th, 2017|0 Comments

About the Author:

Steve Lishansky is CEO of Optimize International, a Hall-of-Fame executive coach, and a speaker, facilitator, and educator known for elevating and accelerating the performance and results of top leaders and executive teams. Author of the #1 business leadership and influence book The Ultimate Sales Revolution. Sell Differently. Change the World, he has worked with talented professionals from more than 45 countries around the world. Contact Steve at www.OptimizeIntl.com, Steve@OptimizeIntl.com or call 978-369-4525.

Leave A Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
How to Solve the Biggest Communications Challenges:

Let Us Help.
Enter Your Details Below For The 
Free Effective Communications white paper 

Thank you for your interest - we will send you the white paper shortly.