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Many executives think organizational change is a messy, chaotic process that can derail their business. But that’s because they’ve been managing it using faulty assumptions and outdated approaches. My book, Big Change, Best Path: Successfully Managing Organizational Change with Wisdom, Analytics and Insight (Kogan-Page, 2015), presents quantitative evidence, case studies and practical guidance for leaders and the workforce of the future on how to manage organizational change successfully with an analytics-based, insight-driven approach.
Over the past 15 years, my team and I have collected data from 850,000 respondents in more than 150 organizations—a quarter of which were Fortune Global 500 companies. We studied many types of change journeys, including mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, technology implementations, cost reductions, culture changes, and new business models.
As our change research data grew, patterns emerged. The findings are useful and actionable insights for organizational leaders, including those in HR.
For example, we found that organizations can detect the early warning signs of a change initiative about to go off track. The use of predictive analytics can support decision-making and highlight paths that will help achieve desired business outcomes during times of transition.
Additionally, we found that:
I like to think about athletes training as a visual parallel to organizational change. Just as athletes rely on cutting-edge digital technologies and analytics to deliver optimal results from their training, organizations should take advantage of insight-driven approaches using sophisticated analytics to better manage their change programs.
We’ve seen that the companies best prepared for change are those that build change capability into the heart of the organization, leaving people in good shape to achieve and sustain high performance over the long haul.
Whether an organization is undergoing a major transformation, embarking on a specific change journey or building an ongoing change capability, leveraging insight-driven approaches and proven methods will increase the pace, certainty and success of an organization’s change program, thus improving performance and driving business growth.
Warren Parry, @ParryWarren on Twitter, is a managing director at Accenture Strategy, Talent & Organization. Based in Sydney, Australia, he helps clients navigate complex organizational change.
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