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Leadership Expert Amy Kates on Organizational Change

Organizational change and the management of that change is an issue businesses regularly face. From customer expectations and internal process adjustments to the marketplace itself, companies worldwide struggle with organizational change. In fact, i4cp research found that only 17% of business leaders say their organizations are highly effective at managing change; and with most organizations experiencing three or more major changes per year, ineffectiveness has serious implications for organizational performance.

In the latest edition of From Now to Next, Amy Kates discusses organizational change and offers insights into the elements and actions of successful strategies. A Managing Partner of Kates Kesler Organization Consulting and a member of i4cp's Thought Leader Consortium, Kates teaches organization design and has authored several books on the challenging topic.

In her exclusive conversation with i4cp, Kates summarizes the timeline for significant organizational changes and explains why change may take two to three years to produce full results--a timeframe that often frustrates leaders. She notes that leaders typically focus on the design and planning phases of change, but observes that interest may wane as the "fun work ends and the hard work of monitoring, reflecting, learning, and adjusting takes over."

Kates believes that in many organizations, implementation is defined narrowly, and that a more useful descriptor is activation--bringing a strategic and organizational vision to life. She lists four areas of activation commonly missing in change plans (and offers actionable advice to HR leaders for each one):


  • Governance
  • Management processes
  • Metrics realignment
  • Decision rights



Also in this edition of From Now to Next

  • Kates' opinion on which companies are tackling organizational change well (hint: very few)
  • Kates' prediction of organizational change evolution over the next ten years
  • The tactics that high-performance organizations leverage to manage change effectively

Finally, From Now to Next describes four next practices in organizational change--identified by i4cp research--that business and change leaders can immediately implement.

"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." - Winston Churchill