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Sustainability

For the majority of change programmes, you must help the client to hold on to the gains. Slippage is one of the most difficult issues to resolve. People may have the necessary energy to deliver the transformation but they do not all have the power and desire to continue through until the end of the engagement. Even when change is complete, many tend to drift back to the initial state after a short period.

Change is often not sustainable because it has been enacted at the asset, blueprint or capability level of the change ladder, but not locked in at the desire or existence level. Imagine a racing car driver who is unable to attain peak performance on the track. His car has been re-tuned, he has been on a development programme to enhance his driving skills and has been coached by the best guru possible in order to develop a positive mental attitude. The unspoken problem is that he has reached a breakpoint - the thought of speeding around a track at 200mph no longer appeals. His real personal goal is to become a teacher, specifically to help young teenagers to learn how to drive. The end result is that any action to improve his performance might work in the short term, but will eventually fade away because there is little deep desire to change. In the same way, any organization that tries to install a quality culture, create a customer-focused ethos or develop a cost-focused culture must ensure that it aligns with the basic purpose of the business.


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