Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists


The Big Barrier to Organisational Change

Monday 30 January 2012

I've had a good opportunity to study all sorts of organisations up close and personal so take this as one person's informed view as to the barriers to getting change to happen and to stick. There's lots of talk about internal competencies, about getting people on board, about clear direction and good communication of what is planned. But in the end my experience working across industry sectors leads me to pick one, above all other barriers to change - permission.

When what is stated publicly is not also supported by an explicit 'permission statement', then change either won't happen, or it won't stick.  Instead there'll be signs of progress followed by an ebbing towards the 'old way'.  And the longer the 'old way' had been previously pursued, the harder it will be to shift things without that permission statement.

Part of the permission to change elements requires that the organisation understands that the new model may take a bit of time to bed down and that things will be unlikely to go smoothly all the time.  It's not so different from changing a personal diet after years of poor eating - it takes time and needs persistence.

So if your organisation is looking to change what or how it does things, have you included your explicit Permission statement as as core requirement?

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