Change Leader, Change Thyself
Organizational change efforts often falter because individuals charged with spearheading such overhauls overlook the need to make fundamental changes in themselves. Of course, building self-understanding and then translating it into an organizational context is easier said than done. According to McKinsey research, at least 50 percent of all efforts to transform organizational performance fail because senior managers do not act as role models for change, or because people in the organization want the status quo to continue. The same research indicates that those organizations that identify and address pervasive mindsets at the outset of such processes are as much as four times more likely to succeed in organizational-change efforts than those that overlook this stage. The article's authors—Nate Boaz and Erica Ariel Fox—found that "the best way to achieve an organization's aspirations is to combine efforts that look outward with those that look inward."

The article lists several ways leaders can improve themselves and, in return, become better at implementing organizational change. One, develop profile awareness—the combination of a person’s habits of thought, emotions, hopes and behavior in various circumstances. "While we all have myriad aspects to our inner lives," the authors write, "in our experience, it is best to focus your reflections on a manageable few as you seek to understand what is driving you at different times." Two, develop your inner lookout. Being able to spot misaligned perceptions requires putting the spotlight on observable behavior and gathering enough data to unearth the core issues. Three, translate that increased awareness into organizational change initiatives.
McKinsey Quarterly (03/14) Boaz, Nate; Fox, Erica Ariel
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