The Hard Side of Change Management

By Perry KeenanAlan Jackson, and Hal Sirkin

Studies show that in most organizations, two out of three transformation initiatives fail. Managing change is tough, but part of the problem is that there is little agreement on what factors most influence transformation initiatives. Ask five executives to name the one factor critical for the success of these programs, and you’ll probably get five different answers.

In recent years, many change management gurus have focused on soft issues, such as culture, leadership, and motivation. What’s missing, we believe, is a focus on the not-so-fashionable aspects of change management: the hard factors.

This article originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review in October, 2005.