10 Sure-Fire Strategies

To Make Certain Your
Change Initiative Fails:

1. Make a significant IT investment that ultimately comes out of the business’s pocket and don’t get anybody but the most senior leadership to buy in before launching it.

2. Launch the initiative without fanfare. Don’t create any promotional campaigns, don’t talk about it in terms of how it can support and enhance the company strategy and by all means don’t discuss its virtues and capabilities.

3. Report regularly on the implementation progress in broad communications and company newsletters – make sure all the communications come via email and not the new tool!

4. Establish a change network by selecting people from various lines of business who are new to the company and don’t have any established relationships or reputations. Or better yet, pawn off under performers who managers haven’t dealt with properly — although you need to be careful here; a few of these under performers, when properly motivated, may turn out to do a laudable job in their new role.

5. Don’t make the change leads accountable for objectives related to the change initiative.

6. Communicate about the initiative from the bottom up. Don’t engage with senior sponsors across lines of business. And by all means, don’t ask for support from senior business leadership until you run into roadblocks that the change lead network can’t handle.

7. Launch a pilot for a new enterprise social tool and then let people know that they cannot use the new tool to conduct “company business.” Be sure not to elaborate on what “company business” means.

8. Engage with your legal team and allow them to make the policies for use of the new capability as restrictive as possible. For example, require people to secure VP approval before establishing a new community and make sure the process for requesting new sites is not well established upfront and don’t allow the consultants who work side by side with the employees to use the capability.

9. Don’t demonstrate how tools can be used to improve your working life — let people try to figure it out themselves with no guidance.

10. And finally, make absolutely sure that senior leadership and program sponsors never use these tools or promote them.

Bruce Galinsky works for a well-known global financial services company in the U.S. and has been responsible for, or worked on, a number of successful domestic and global change initiatives. With respect to change, his motto is that he is uncomfortable being comfortable.