Change management require a compelling story

Change management require a compelling story

Posted by Torben Rick | October 3, 2014 | Change Management
Change management require a compelling story

Change management require a compelling change story, communicating it to employees and following it up with ongoing communications and involvement.

But in practice there are some pitfalls in achieving the desired impact.

Two types of change stories

There are two types of change stories consistently told in organizations. The first is the “good to great” story – something along the lines of:

Our historical advantage has been eroded by intense competition and changing customer needs – if we change, we can regain our leadership position.

The second is the turnaround story – typically a burning platform:

We’re performing below industry standard and must change dramatically to survive. We can become a top-quartile performer in our industry by exploiting our current assets and earning the right to grow.

These stories both seem intuitively rational, yet they too often fail to have the impact that management desire. Research by a number of leading thinkers in the social sciences has shown that when managers and employees are asked what motivates them the most in their work they are equally split among five forms of impact:

  1. Impact on society – for instance, building the community and stewarding resources
  2. Impact on the customer – for example, providing superior service
  3. Impact  on the company and its shareholders
  4. Impact on the working  team – for example, creating a caring environment
  5. Impact on “me”  personally – my development, paycheck and bonus


Mind the communication gap - Change management require a compelling story


Management need to be able to tell a change story

Management need to be able to tell a change story that covers all five things that motivate employees. In doing so, they can unleash tremendous amounts of energy that would otherwise remain latent in the organization.

But before leaders can get buy-in, people need to feel the problem. People aren’t going to consider anything until they are convinced there is a problem that truly needs to be addressed.


Short URL & title:
Change management require a compelling story —

Share it:
If you enjoyed this article, please take 5 seconds to share it on your social network. Thanks!

About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Post

Say goodbye to change management
Posted by Torben Rick | February 20, 2017
Change is now new the rule, not the exception – Say goodbye to change management Across all industries, disruptive change is the new normal. Technology, globalization, evolving customer behaviors and...
Reasons why organizations cannot change
Posted by Torben Rick | February 8, 2017
Identifying and overcoming roadblocks to organizational change Organizations must change or else they’ll perish. And that change involves the entire organization. Yet, the biggest stumbling block is implementing it. This...
Posted by Torben Rick | January 18, 2017
Change has become an everyday part of organizational dynamics. Any organization that will not make changes risks being left behind, forgotten, risks competitors driving them out of business or faces...