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he shocking fact about change management initiatives is that 70% of them fail. Furthermore, 60% of these projects do not fully meet their objectives. Be it installing new technology, downsizing, restructuring the organization, or trying to shape the organizational culture, the statistics are the same.

IBM has surveyed 1,400 individuals who were responsible for designing, managing and implementing change.

  • Only 20% of participants were considered successful in change management
  • 87% of participants found lack of focus disturbing in critical projects
  • Only 40% of participants believed they have the right skills

The secrets behind the failure of change management was conducted by an award winning business and management thought leader, John P. Kotter.

A shorter list from his reasons:

  • Unclear reasons for change and overall objectives
  • Too much talk, no actions
  • Inappropriate change management style
  • Internal resistance against change
  • Change-blocking organizational culture

Successful change management requires the right theoretical framework and methodology and the involvement of key players (opinion leaders in our terminology) within the team.

You cannot identify opinion leaders by sight, they don’t wear a uniform. They are active voice in a community. Opinion leader is somebody who speaks out and gets asked for advice/opinion a lot. They are members who influence the behavior or decision-making of peers and shape the culture within the organization. Many times management is not aware of who these influencer members are.

You definitely need to identify your opinion leaders, if you want to

  • conduct change and you look for successful change agents who will drive change
  • reach higher success rate in change programmes than 20% found in researches
  • hear out your employee’s concerns – opinion leaders face their questions day by day
  • shape organizational culture

How to find out?

The easiest way to find out who the opinion leaders are in any community is to ask people. You either interview every member of your team who they call when they need advice. (The same names will start showing up.) Or you give a try to academically validated social network analysis surveys. Conducting Social Network Analysis reveals the hidden opinion leaders who were not reached by top level management before.

CX-Ray Kft.
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