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Chapter 13. Organizations: Don't Leap in... > Build Success into the Change Proces... - Pg. 67

Organizations: Don't Leap into Major Change 67 A change process that sets out to improve the perfor- mance of the business can, however, also change the organization's culture. That happens when the organization's decision makers are themselves models of the values, attitudes, and behaviors that the organization has now identified as what it really wants. That transformation occurs when people understand what's expected of them and how they should behave because they're working with and for people who tend to naturally do what's now considered the right things in the right way. Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, who led the transformation of the corporation, would be an example of walking the talk, or the power of natural modeling. After years of participating in change efforts, I've come up with some rules and guidelines for a successful major change effort: · Manage to success and avoid failure. No major change effort should be initiated unless it has a good chance of succeeding. · The organization's leaders must be models of the values, attitudes, and behaviors that are now considered most desirable. · Goals need to be based on improving the performance of the business and not on changing the organization's culture. · A change effort needs to be proportionate to the size of the problem and the extent of a crisis. An obvious crisis gives credibility to leaders' calls for core change. · Change efforts should be as small, as nondisruptive, and as specific as possible. · Plans for change must be as simple and focused as possible. · All of management must be visibly on board. · Management should be upbeat about the outcome of change, while they are also forthright about the likely difficulties that will be involved.