5 Golden rules for a successful implementation of behavioral change in your organization


  1. Establish a clear definition of “desired behavior”
  2. Establish “common goals” not only for individuals, but also for teams
  3. Create a “safe environment” where making mistakes is possible
  4. Steer on “soft” and “hard” parameters
  5. Don’t only change behavior, but adapt business- and management control processes


In my experience as a change consultant I’ve noticed that a clear majority of change efforts (>70%) in corporations fail.

This leads to poor results on the short term and even more dangerous, unengaged employees on the longer term.

The main reasons for this failure are:

  • Lack of buy-in from personnel involved
  • Unfit company structures

Very often organizations stop where they should be beginning i.e. at the analysis phase. The implementation is too many times perceived as:

  • Too much work
  • Too much hassle
  • Too confronting

Creating 100% buy-in for the changes to happen is an illusion, it will take some time and some people will never support it, therefore it might be necessary to root out some bad apples.

A key element of successful change is to kick off with a clear definition of “desired behavior” and not only monitor the “hard” results like contribution, but also steer on “soft” parameters like engagement.

A successful implementation not only requires engaged people, but also good teams:

  • Self-starting
  • Focus on positive confrontation
  • A safe environment where making mistakes is possible
  • With common goals

Hierarchical organizations with bureaucratic processes are doomed to fail! Therefore the focus should not only be on behavior and attitude, but also on the management control  processes.







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