Queen's University IRC

Rick Maurer

Building a Foundation for Change: Why So Many Changes Fail and What to Do About It

A surprisingly high percentage of organizational changes are doomed to fail. According to recent surveys, reengineering efforts have about a 33 percent chance of success, mergers and acquisitions succeed 29 percent of the time, quality improvement efforts achieve their goals half the time, and new software applications hit the mark in less than 20 percent of the cases. What often goes wrong: Bright people develop a plan that includes a sound business reason for the change.

The Cycle of Change

Resistance to change often appears when people are at different points on the cycle. Take the time to compare the relative positions on the cycle held by everyone involved; it can help you anticipate potential problems and develop the most appropriate strategies.

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