How Not to Implement Change

Take a hands off approach. Keep your distance.

Don’t explain the “why” of the change.

Handle “resistance,” by putting people through training so they will “embrace change” (“Who Moved My Cheese” being a prime example).

“Hold people accountable to embrace change” by including it in their annual performance review. If they, in the judgment of the evaluators, were “resistant,” lower their rating and/or dismiss them.

Create a “communication plan” that is basically a PR campaign selling  benefits of the change (and mentioning none of the risks or the flaws), and include coffee mugs, banners and t-shirts.

Communicate huge amounts of information through e-mails.

Stick with “Go Live” dates regardless of whether the system is ready to go live. Have faith that the IT (or other specialists) will be able to solve problems as they emerge without crippling production, etc.

Take “input” through committees and meetings, etc., with no structure for assessing and rejecting or turning input into action.

Don;t allow input until the change is well under way.

Assign an executive such as the VP of HR who has no line authority over the targets of the change to be the “sponsor” or “champion” of the change.

Instead of using stretch goals strategically, implement too many stretch goal changes at once, and come up with new stretch goals year after year.

Instead of being straight with your employees when you have a real burning platform, don’t tell the what is going on until it is too late.

Exaggerate a burning platform so as to create a sense of urgency, and keep making up the need for urgency over and over again.

“Hold people accountable to have a sense of urgency” in their annual performance reviews.

Move onto the next project without reviewing and learning from the implementation of the last one (“times a wasting!”).

About crosbyod

Crosby & Associates OD is a catalyst for high performance & morale. Our methods are a unique blend grounded in research and decades of experience. In the spirit of Kurt Lewin, the founder of OD, as we partner with you in the present we transfer our methods to you so you are independent in the future. Learn more at
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