The 80 20 rule revisited


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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

For the “change agents” in any organization, Geoff Carss’s recent article How Successful Are You at Change? might be pretty depressing.  He writes: “The success rate for business change has not materially improved for 20 years in spite of increasing investment in management training and development… Only 18% of the changes … were successful.”

It has long been known that the human animal is resistant to change.  We seek equilibrium both biologically and emotionally.  But change management experts have found that creating a foundation of employee engagement reinforced with continual communication are keys to promoting successful change efforts. 

As we explained on our blog The Only Thing Constant is Change, a company needs first to determine it’s approach to change.  As we see it,  there are at least 4 different distinct approaches a company can take to deal with change:

1) understand and react to change
2) proactively manage change
3) predict and utilize change
4) create and exploit change

Whatever the approach to change, the outcome must include an assessment of the impact of change on the company’s business strategy, followed by a review of organizational capabilities in light of change, and a realignment of talent management strategies to ensure a better long-term result.”

But these alone may not guarantee success in a change effort.  Many organizations fail to evaluate all the drivers of change – one of the biggest being its compensation programs.  Compensation programs can deliver a hefty boost to any change effort, provided that the rewards are aligned with the goals.  Usually, “yesterday’s” compensation program won’t support “tomorrow’s” change effort. 

There is a proverb that says “When the music changes, so must the dance”.  Change initiatives need to inform and be supported your reward strategy.

For more on how to be successful at change, check out our other blogs including Competent to the Core.

Contact Grahall’s Omni Media Editorial Board at

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