Category: Blog Roll

6 Barriers to Organizational Change, and How to Overcome Them

Woman on top of stairs

Change is one of few certainties in our work lives.  Regardless of industry, company size, or leadership team experience, your team or organization is bound to experience several major transitions.  If you are in a leadership role, you are in a unique position to anticipate and plan for change so as to maximize its benefits and mitigate disruption in your organization.  Why does this matter?  Because research tells us that initiatives with excellent change management are six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management.  Just increasing your change management rating from “poor” to “fair” means you are three times more likely to meet objectives.

Below are six common barriers to effective organizational change, along with strategies and suggestions on how to manage them.

Leading in a VUCA World

Businesswoman walking on a tightropeIn a vacuum, leadership would be a lot simpler.  For example, you could learn the skills required to engage different people, create a compelling vision, align stakeholders with the vision, and execute it relatively quickly in a linear fashion.  But we live in a VUCA world, which is the opposite of simple and linear.

First developed in the 1990s by the U.S. Army, the term VUCA describes the post-Cold War environment that is more unpredictable than generations before us experienced.  Despite its military origins, VUCA applies equally well to civilian life and leadership, as well.

VUCA is an acronym that stands for:

  • Volatility, especially as it relates to the dynamics of change as it has increased in speed, volume, type, and scale.
  • Uncertainty, arising out of the increased volatile environment that makes forecasting the future more difficult.
  • Complexity, leading to confusion as cause-and-effect relationships are more difficult to determine.
  • Ambiguity, or the existence of multiple meanings that results in a lack of clear answers and solutions.

In short, outcomes are no longer as easy to predict with accuracy for our human brains as they may have been for us to predict in the past. Every decision, both in our personal and business lives, may effect and be affected by a larger set of rapidly shifting variables than we can easily integrate.   Once you embrace the concept, you may start to recognize VUCA dynamics operating around you in many different contexts.

Leaders: It’s Not Too Late To "Resolutionize"

7 New Year’s Resolutions for Leaders

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” Douglas MacArthur

Your organization’s success and reputation hinge upon your leadership. Five-star general and world-famous leader, Douglas MacArthur, described leadership as a multi-faceted ability.  Whether you lead a military establishment, a startup company, or a non-profit organization, succeeding as a leader requires you to hone your leadership skillset and identify what really matters to your organization.


What are the key behaviors that leaders should exhibit in 2018?

The first step is to identify the key behaviors that account for the overwhelming majority of successes for people in a leadership role.  Researchers have isolated four leadership behaviors that account for 89% of leadership effectiveness. By focusing on the four leadership behaviors below during the new year, you can bolster your success as a leader.