Why HR Must Take Charge of Change
Change is a constant reality of business today. Yet 70 percent of change initiatives fail. What’s more, only 25 percent of organizations are able to sustain long-term gains from change management initiatives.  Why is the rate of failure for change initiatives so high? Because change is not a one-time event - it’s an ongoing context that requires thoughtful planning. Successful change management today is not about just managing a change, but anticipating and leveraging continual change to create sustainable organizational success.
Organizations must evolve their perspectives on change in order to thrive in today’s world and HR is uniquely positioned to lead the way. Change today is not just a merger or systems implementation - it’s the ongoing and overlapping influences of technology, globalization, the economy, a multi-generational workforce and myriad other factors that make each day just a little different than yesterday.
The successful management of change requires that organizations focus on holistically assessing and prioritizing the factors that impact change – from the high-level vision, strategy, and leadership alignment, to tactical levers like communications, processes, structures, and tools. Over-emphasizing only one or two factors is a common characteristic of failed change initiatives.
To make change sustainable, organizations must get employees involved and gain buy-in early in the process. By soliciting input and visibly incorporating feedback from those whom the change will impact most, leaders improve their odds of gaining traction and reduce the risks of blind-spots along the way. It is also critical that organizations ensure any change efforts align the needs and offer of both the employee and the enterprise – a state we at BPI group call Shared Success SM.
Today’s employees require transparency and a contemporary perspective on the value they bring to the company. Carefully crafted communications that fail to address employees’ actual concerns, or speak to measures that only benefit the bottom line, will have employees running for glassdoor.com. To achieve long-term success, addressing change must be a shared proposition. And no one is better positioned to lead it than HR.
As an HR leader, you have the power and responsibility to architect sustainable change in your organization. You have your finger on the pulse of all aspects of your organization, and you have the business acumen necessary to identify strengths and vulnerabilities. You are uniquely poised to lead your organization in a holistic, proactive approach to create sustainable change and ongoing success for both your organization and your employees.
To learn more about the role of HR as a change architect, and how you can build a change blueprint for your organization, check out our upcoming HCI webcast, HR As Change Architect, airing January 29th at 1 p.m. E.S.T.
Judah Kurtz is a Senior Manager of the Talent Solutions practice and an Executive Coach in the Executive Coaching practice at BPI group. Judah brings over 20 years of deep expertise in coaching, leadership and talent development, training and facilitation, and organization effectiveness and change. He is also experienced in crafting and implementing customized human capital solutions for mid-level and senior leaders. Judah holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Organization Development and a master’s degree in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University, in addition to a certificate in Training and Development.
For more information on BPI group please visit www.bpi-group.us
 2013 Towers Watson Change and Communication ROI Survey, http://www.towerswatson.com/en/Press/2013/08/Only-One-Quarter-of-Employers-Are-Sustaining-Gains-From-Change-Management