Organizational Change Management Portfolio is McKinsey-proof

The organizational Change Portfolio stands the test of McKinsey. That’s what I found out as I was scanning the latest articles on organizational change management. Some time ago introduced the organizational change portfolio in the article “Wellness My Ass“. Now, looking at the results of the latest McKinsey survey (*), I feel less insecure and I can leave the power-talk behind.

The first and most significant finding of this survey is that the goals of an organizational change program are often poorly defined, and that this poor definition seems to be highly correlated with the success of the organizational change effort. What’s more, the most successful programs have goals that represent a clear stretch in performance compared to the current state of performance.

To me this underscores the need for the work stream “performance”, which starts with the business case, the feasibility study and most of all, the definition of unambiguous benefits.

Another finding is that the involvement of all staff as early as possible in the program lifecycle is a significant success factor. Although the CEO and the top team need to have a clear exposure of their engagement; they cannot do the job alone. This underscores the importance of engaging a broad network of ambassadors during the program and avoiding project cocooning. Freeing up the time of process owners, key users, team leaders and domain leaders is a tough job which involves a lot of discussions during the program; but it is an investment with high returns.

When it comes to the communication-part I was relieved to find out that redundancy of communication channels – a topic that I regularly preach about – is an important factor. Indeed, as the survey shows, successful companies used more than three times several different tactics for engaging the organization than their unsuccessful counterparts.

Overall, the organizational change management portfolio succeeds the test, so I would label it ‘McKinsey’ proof.
(*) Creating organizational Transformations – The McKinsey Quarterly – August 2008