The literature on change management contains a lot of advice about formulating a change idea and planning it at a high level but much less on how to implement the idea once it has been created. For example, although strategy implementation is viewed as an integral part of the strategic management process, little has been written or researched on it. Likewise, in the public sector there is a great deal of advice on how to formulate public policy, and many academic courses teach this. But try to find a course or a book on getting that policy implemented successfully, and you will find very little. Why should this be so? I believe that implementing a change is a lot tougher than planning it because you actually have to deal with people instead of just things and concepts. Concepts do not resist or argue back. But this is not accepted wisdom. Senior leaders often believe that a great change idea should be easy to implement, that anyone can do it. So it is less glamorous and attracts fewer accolades.
Top management often backs the implementation effort in words but not in actions. When that happens, implementation problems occur that have not been anticipated or expected. For example, in one study the following implementation problems occurred in over half of the firms studied during their implementation effort.
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