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Making change work... while the work keeps changing

How Change Architects lead and manage organizational change

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The gap between the magnitude of change and the ability of organizations to manage it continues to widen.

A number of factors are creating challenges that require organizations to act beyond the boundaries of their experiences. How are organizations coping with these massive changes? Are they enabling change leaders, engaging employees in conversations about change or creating a culture that facilitates change across the organization? Are there organizations that stand out in reducing — or at least maintaining — the gap between the pace and volume of change and the development of change management capabilities? IBM’s latest Making Change Work study, which surveyed almost 1,400 individuals responsible for designing, creating or implementing change across their respective organizations, answers these questions and identifies a select group of companies — Change Architects — that have found the keys to making change work while the work keeps changing.

Disruption has become every organization’s constant companion. Rapidly evolving technology, an ever-growing mountain of data and the increasing need for global integration make it difficult for even the most forward-thinking companies to keep up with increasing change. Yet, the ability to anticipate, manage and capitalize on pervasive change is often the difference between market leadership and extinction. History is full of lessons from companies that had to completely revamp the way they compete to remain viable.

For example, one iconic U.S. publishing company emerged from bankruptcy after realizing consumers had the desire to see their favorite heroes on the big screen. The company began using its publications as test beds for stories and characters that could be adapted into movies and digital entertainment. In accomplishing a remarkable turnaround, this company surrounded itself with the brightest talent it could find. It incorporated a transformation program that began at the Board level and was driven through every level of the organization. Today, after recovering from a near-death experience, the company’s offerings are in high demand by numerous successful movie producers.

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Meet the author

Janet Mertens

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, Global HR Research Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value

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