Change – Sticking With It

By | July 10, 2008

Change programmes fail far too often. In response organisations spend plenty of time planning the change (a sensible idea), launching it, communicating it (another must do), but still find themselves losing enthusiasm when the excitement of the new change has worn off and the daily reality of making the change work becomes the focus.

Change programmes don’t often fail publicly with an ‘abandonment event’, they simply run out of steam and the people who cynically claimed they would ‘believe it when they saw it’ or ‘wait and see what happened before getting excited’, smile and say ‘I told you so’.

What change requires is real effort over an extended period of time. This week has seen some fabulous examples of people who have refused to give up and have reaped the rewards. I gave up on Andy Murray when he was two sets down against Richard Gasquet, but he didn’t give up on himself and went on to his best Wimbledon performance ever. Federer didn’t give up against Nadal in similar circumstances and whilst he may not have won an extra button for his cardigan he certainly reinforced his reputation as one of the finest tennis players ever.

Thomas Voeckler may not have gained a stage victory on Sunday but he ended the day with his polka dot jersey, not something anyone would have predicted a week ago. He’s not the most talented rider in the Tour de France, but he is one of the most determined and resolute, and given his 2004 performance he may keep the jersey for a few days yet.

Whilst opponents span their way through the rain and into the gravel at Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton got on with the grim job of staying on the track to work his way up from an awful qualifying round to take the win. It wasn’t pretty but it showed determination, resilience and spirit, characteristics which serve organisations well in times of change, particularly in tough market conditions.

What these sports people have shown, whether they ended up as winners or not, is what can be achieved if people set their goal and stick with it, in spite of hecklers, doubters and fierce opposition. To ensure your change programme makes it past the launch phase there’s plenty you can learn from them. To learn more from other successful change programmes contact us.

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