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The Change Catalyst

Secrets to Successful and Sustainable Business Change
Wiley (Verlag)
Erschienen am 3. April 2017
424 Seiten
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978-1-119-38621-6 (ISBN)
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The essential companion for delivering successful and sustainable change.
"Essential reading for CEOs and leaders of change." - Martin Davis, CEO, Kames Capital
88% of change initiatives fail. The Change Catalyst provides you with the insight, tools and know-how you need to make sure your next change, strategy or M&A is the one in eight that succeeds.
Whether you're trying to change a process, a culture, a behaviour or an entire business, success demands complete clarity of what you are trying to achieve and why, followed by a clear plan to align your people to deliver. All change is about people, and one of the most important ingredients for successful change is the identification and appointment of a Change Catalyst. This is the person who can guide your organisation - its people and its processes - to the ultimate delivery of the outcomes your business needs.
The book takes you deep inside the culture and process of change to show you how to set yourself up for success in both the short and long term; identify your goal, clarify your vision, stay focused on the outcome and develop and deliver a do-able plan. It will also explain how to genuinely engage stakeholders at all levels in every stage of the process. Real-world case studies show you what a successful change initiative looks like on the ground, and the Change Toolbox offers a collection of proven tools and models to streamline planning and implementation. Clear, intelligent guidance cuts through the buzzwords to get down to business quickly, and a pragmatic, holistic approach helps you tackle strategy, culture, execution and more.
People don't like change; it rattles their cages and makes them uncomfortable - and emotion trumps logic every time. This book shows you how to pinpoint the emotional triggers, coax logic out of hiding and get everyone on board as you drive real, lasting change.
* Learn why typical change initiatives are far more likely to fail than succeed.
* Identify your Change Catalyst to strengthen both process and outcome.
* Overcome cultural challenges and turn understanding into transformation.
* Develop and implement a solid strategy for successful change.
Whether you want change at the team level or on a government scale, no initiative is immune from the perils of inertia, misguided focus, distracted leadership or muddled planning. Change is inevitable. Successful change isn't.
The Change Catalyst will tilt the odds on your favour and enable your next change initiative to be among the 12% that succeeds.
Campbell has been helping business leaders clarify their strategy and instigate sustainable change for more than 30 years throughout the UK, Europe, Australia, USA, Asia and the Middle East.
He has a remarkable wealth of experience across a variety of industries and business disciplines.
He has been a board member, Strategy Director, HR Director, Marketing Director, eBusiness Head and internal change leader.
He is a strategic change adviser for many dozens of organisations via his consultancy Change & Strategy International Ltd (
His work has included advising the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Zurich Global Life, IFDS/State Street, International Personal Finance, Friends Life, Aviva, GoCompare, iPipeline, James Hay, Cofunds, Sesame, Misys, Openwork, Centaur Media, BP, Capital Radio, BBC, Telewest, AMP, American Express, Lazard and Andersen Consulting.
He also flew jets (poorly) in the RAAF.
He has a Physics degree from Melbourne University.
Campbell lives in Oxfordshire, UK and is married with two adult children. He divides his time between the UK, Australia and wherever his clients need him to be.
Acknowledgments xi
About the Author xv
Introduction 1
PART ZERO: Change Is Inevitable 9
PART ONE: Why 88% of Change Initiatives Fail 29
1 People Don't Like Change 31
#1 reason why people resist change: fear of failure 35
#2 reason why people resist change: fear of the unknown 38
#3 reason why people resist change: fear of blame 40
#4 reason why people resist change: the comfort of victimhood 44
#5 reason why people resist change: the long-term gains don't seem to be worth the short-term pain 49
#6 reason why people resist change: we need help but it is nowhere to be found, so we give up at the fi rst hurdle 50
2 Lack of Clarity Regarding What We are Trying to Achieve and Why 55
3 The Implications are not Fully Understood 71
4 An Obsession with Process over Outcomes 75
5 Inertia 81
6 The Project is Set Up to Fail 85
7 Poor Communications and Disingenuous Stakeholder Engagement 89
8 We Forget that Emotions Trump Logic Every Time 93
9 A Change-averse Culture 103
10 The Leadership Doesn't Stay the Course 107
PART TWO: The Necessary Ingredients for Successful Change 113
11 A Change Catalyst to Drive Delivery 115
12 Clarity About What we are Trying to Achieve and Why 131
13 Detailed Understanding of the Implications of the Change 133
14 A Laser-like Focus on the Outcomes 139
15 A Change Process that Includes a 'Pause for Reflection' 143
16 Clear Governance and Thorough Planning 147
17 Genuine Engagement with People at all Levels of the Organisation 153
18 Identification of the Emotional Triggers 163
19 A Strong, Committed, Aligned and Unwavering Leadership Team 167
20 A Change-ready Culture 171
PART THREE: Culture Change 177
21 Cultural Intelligence 179
22 Instigating Change in a Foreign Culture 193
23 Understanding Your Organisation's Culture 207
24 Teaching People to Walk in the Rain 211
PART FOUR: Getting Down to Business 225
25 Vision, Mission and Other Buzzwords 227
26 Values Schmalues 243
27 What Does a Good Strategy Look Like? 251
28 It's the Delivery, Stupid! (Execution is Everything) 263
29 Where Are Your Walls? (Organisation Design) 271
30 Overcoming Complacency (The Innovator's Dilemma) 279
31 What Does a Good Leader Look Like? 287
32 Building Extraordinary Leadership Teams 293
33 Your People 299
34 Case Studies 313
Tim Wallace and the iPipeline team: Transforming insurance 314
Michael Sheargold: Real estate Change Catalyst 321
Michael Gould and Anaplan: The UK's newest unicorn 327
Unlocking the value of HR 335
Globalisation 345
35 The Change Toolbox 359
PART FIVE: And Finally, Tell 'em What You Told 'em 377
Index 385


88% of change initiatives fail.

According to a 2016 Bain & Company survey of 250 large companies,1 only 12% of change projects achieve or exceed their projected outcomes. A further 38% produce less than half of their expected results. The final 50% 'settle for a significant dilution of results'. In other words, seven out of eight change initiatives fail.

A similar proportion of mergers and acquisitions fail. A comparable proportion of corporate strategies fail. A similar number of large IT projects fail.

While there may be some debate about the percentages, Bain isn't the only consultancy to arrive at a similar conclusion. A 2008 McKinseys survey estimated that two-thirds of change projects fail. John Kotter, in his seminal book, Leading Change (1996), estimated the number to be around 70%.

Several studies by several consultancies over several decades have all deduced that change is so difficult to achieve, and so fraught with obstacles, that organisations usually end up abandoning change programmes altogether or settling for significantly watered-down outcomes; wasting vast sums of money doing the former and foregoing opportunities for increased revenue, profit and shareholder value doing the latter.

Only one in eight change initiatives deliver the results they set out to achieve. Why?

There are many reasons and they are all intertwined. But from my many decades of experience assisting organisations large and small to instigate change, I have come to the conclusion that the reasons why change projects, programmes or initiatives fail can be grouped into ten key categories. This top ten is detailed in Part One of the book.

The key reason that infuses every other is the fact we humans don't like change. When it comes to change, especially in the workplace, we have an innate desire to cling on to the status quo. We find change extraordinarily difficult, even when it is good change. We fear that the new world may not be any better than today. We fear that accepting change will be tantamount to being blamed for the way we currently work. We fear that we may try and fail.

Therefore, we need help; we need someone to help take the fear away. To be encouraged to change, we need both the 'carrot' of a better tomorrow and the 'stick' of negative consequences if we stay with the status quo. Sometimes we require a 'burning platform'2 to force us to take the leap into a new world; other times the motivation needs to be far more subtle, but it must be just as compelling.

However, rational motivation alone is not sufficient; we humans need to be motivated emotionally if we are to embrace any sort of change. Our pride, our ego, our sense of self-worth, our heart, our gut; these are the areas that need to be motivated if we are to proceed successfully down a new path. When it comes to engaging people in change, logic alone is simply not enough . and rarely do change programmes expend anywhere near enough time or energy providing a positive emotional reason to embrace the new world or addressing the emotional barriers to change.

You need look no further than the disastrous campaign to Remain in the EU by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Chancellor, George Osborne, during last year's UK referendum. These two highly intelligent men and their teams of advisers completely ignored the fact that it is our emotions that drive our decision-making. They tried to convince people to vote 'Remain' through a mixture of logic, statistics and fear. They also completely lacked empathy, failing to understand that, for a large proportion of Britons, the 'platform' was already ablaze - too many voters felt they had nothing to lose by voting to leave the EU. These voters had been left behind by globalisation and the free movement of people across the EU and had spent eight long years reaching into their own pockets to pay for the failure of the global banking system in 2008. They needed a positive emotional reason to vote for the status quo - and none was forthcoming. Another school-boy error from the Remain camp was complacency (a common cancer that scuppers many change initiatives, as we discuss later in the book). Cameron and Co. didn't seriously consider that the UK voters would actually vote to leave - either because they honestly didn't understand what life was like for a large proportion of their constituents or they simply assumed that 'fear of the unknown' would win the day. Either way, their complacency was palpable.

In direct contrast, the 'Leave' camp, spearheaded by the opportunistic Boris Johnson, appealed directly to the emotions of many millions of voters with a brilliant slogan ('Vote Leave, Take Control'), a catchy 'Brexit' name and, most important of all, the promise of a better tomorrow outside the EU. It worked. The UK voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48%.3 A key reason for the win is that the Leave campaign spoke directly to voters' emotions. They acknowledged that people were already unhappy with the status quo and fearful for their future livelihoods and the future of their communities if things kept heading in the current direction. The Leave campaign also spoke directly to a significant proportion of the population's latent fear of foreigners but, more powerfully, it spoke to people's pride in their country. Boris Johnson and Co. gave the electorate the belief that Britain could stand on its own; they appealed to the nationalistic emotion that, to borrow Donald Trump's superficial but nevertheless catchy slogan, Britain could be 'Great' again.

Donald Trump made none of Cameron's mistakes. He may have made plenty of others during his divisive and yet ultimately successful election campaign, but unlike Cameron he did not suffer from complacency, he was long on emotion and he knew that a significant proportion of the population was crying out for change - any change. Trump voters could be divided into three camps: 'The Tribals' who always vote Republican and didn't have to waste one moment thinking about it. Every political party has them. 'The ABHs' (Anyone But Hillary) who loathe and distrust anything Clinton. This is a surprisingly populous group. The third group was 'The Victims'; the victims of globalisation. Like their British counterparts, these Americans have been left behind by globalisation and felt that they literally had nothing to lose. They had been continually ignored for decades by political elites of all persuasions and were ready to vote for almost anyone that they hoped could help them - as long as their surname wasn't Clinton or Bush. Hence an outsider, anti-politician has become the 45th President of the United States.

The intensity of this desire for change - any change - was so strong that the fact that Trump was not one of the political establishment outweighed all of his negatives. The fact he was a billionaire that manufactured his products in cheap-labour countries overseas rather than American factories didn't matter. The fact his Atlantic City gambling business filed for bankruptcy twice, with $1.8bn in debt4 the first time and $500m the second time around was of no consequence. His refusal to publish his tax return was dismissed as irrelevant. The fact he showed himself to be a vengeful bully was seen as him being tough. His misogyny was ignored. His pledge to build a wall across the Mexican border and to stop Muslims coming into the country wasn't seen as racist and islamophobic; it was seen as protecting American lives and American jobs. Denying the science of climate change was not seen as pro-ignorance and profoundly dangerous for future generations of humans and countless other species of life on this planet; it was seen as anti-elitist and pro-industry.

The desire for change was that strong. And only Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders recognised it.

But back to the world of business . a 2004 study of some 50 000 employees by the US-based Corporate Executive Council showed that, when it comes to engaging employees, emotional commitment is four times more powerful than rational commitment. Four times. To convince people to change we have to appeal to their emotions.

In business, as in life, there is a 'right' reason and a 'real' reason for just about everything. This is especially pertinent when it comes to change. The 'right' reason for the change will be the one that is widely communicated. But lurking in the shadows will almost always be a 'real' reason that is not made public. When it comes to finding your people's emotional triggers, you will need to unearth the 'real' reasons behind their resistance and the 'real' things that will genuinely motivate them. This book has been designed to help you do precisely that.

The book starts with Part Zero: a discussion of the inevitability of change - highlighting some of the incredible changes we have already managed to cope with and previewing just a little of the tsunami of change that will soon be crashing down upon us.

The rest of the book is then divided into four parts.

Part One explores why 88% of change initiatives fail. If we are to have any chance of improving these odds, we must fully understand why seven out of eight change initiatives do not deliver. Another reason for...

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