Adapting for Success – Change Management

Have you ever wondered why some companies are more successful than others in similar circumstances? What are these people doing right? What do the winners do differently? Only 2 companies out of 10 survive the first 3 years in business. Some of the survivors are doing business in a very competitive market; however they have acquired specific habits and have established winning strategies which make them successful.

Are you looking for answers to these questions? A survey by Professor Colin Coulson-Thomas, a specialist in corporate transformation, shows the experiences from over 2000 companies. The outcomes achieved by survey participants are ranked from the most to the least successful, and the approaches of the “winners” or “most successful” are compared with the “losers” or “less successful” to isolate the factors that make a difference. The results suggest that most of the critical success factors are attitudinal and behavioral.

Let’s look at some overall differences between the attitudes and behaviors of those people in key positions who fail and succeed at bringing about a fundamental transformation in their organizations.

First, let’s examine the most prominent characteristic attitudes and behaviors of “less successful” companies. They are unsure and unaware of the needs of others. They are cautious and fail to inspire and motivate. Losers are also reactive. They respond to events and often fail to anticipate the need for change. They confuse operational with strategic business issues. They fail to notice what is important and the biggest opportunities for performance improvement.

Next, let’s examine the most prominent characteristic attitudes and behaviors of “winners.” Winners tend to have a longer-term perspective. They are confident, positive and pro-active. They create compelling visions. They encourage innovation, trust other people, and share information and opportunities with them. They understand their customers and concern themselves with increasing customer retention. Winners value relationships, empathize, ask for feedback, and are good listeners.

Winners have a plan. Winners, in the challenge to change transform and re-invent, are very different. They recognize that change can be stressful and can disrupt valued relationships. They only change what they need to change. They communicate why change is necessary.


In a changing environment, in order to be a winner, management’s first responsibility is to identify processes or behaviors that are inhibiting productivity and replace them with more effective one’s. Once changes are identified, it is important for managers to estimate the organizational and individual employee impact on many levels including technology, employee attitude and behavior, organizational processes, etc.

At this point, management should assess the employee’s anticipated reaction to the desired changes as they are being implemented. In many cases, change can be extremely beneficial with lots of positives; however certain changes do sometimes produce a tremendous amount of resistance. It is the job of management to provide support to their team through the process of these changes, which sometimes are very difficult. Management must help employees accept change and help them become well adjusted and effective once these changes have been implemented.

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