SEATTLE, WA (May 13, 2008) - Nearly 50% of business executives say that the pace of change is becoming hard or impossible to predict, according to a new i4cp survey. And it appears many companies will suffer as change inevitably happens: almost 20 percent characterize themselves as poor or very poor at handling such initiatives.
In corporate America, major change is almost impossible to avoid. Every single responding company has undertaken at least one major change initiative over the last year. In fact, more than a quarter of companies in the U.S. (26%) report that they have undertaken more than five major changes in the last year.
"In spite of how frequently businesses of all kinds are forced to deal with changing technology and markets, it's surprising that a significant percentage would feel they're bad at managing the process," observed i4cp senior research analyst Carol Morrison.
The study identified 3 core areas of change: 1) What is the biggest driver of change, 2) What strategies are organizations using to improve their responses to change, and 3) Who is responsible for carrying out those strategies.
- Drivers of Change: The biggest driver of change in organizations is the desire to increase revenue/sales, with 60% of organizations pointing to this as motivating change to a high or very high extent. Additional major drivers of change include the need to reduce costs and grow the company, among other items.
- Strategies to Improve Responses to Change: First and foremost, companies strive to improve "communication of organizational values, mission and vision," cited by 59% of respondents as a strategy. Training to improve leaders' change-management skills was pointed to by 46% of respondents, followed by the establishment/development of talent pools (42%), training to improve employee perception and handling of change (41%), and senior leadership's modeling of receptivity to change (40%).
- Responsibility for Change Management: The responsibility for change management initiatives is generally in the hands of upper management, according to the study. Company CEOs are most likely to manage the initiatives (26%), followed by SVPs or EVPs at 25%. Vice presidents are turned to by 18% of responding companies.
The Taking the Pulse: Managing Change
survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with HR.com, in March 2008. A total of 132 organizations participated.About i4cp, inc.i4cp is the world's largest private network of corporations focused on improving workforce productivity.
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