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The 5 Essential Ingredients for Successful Change
by Duncan Brodie

In the corporate world and life change is inevitable. Despite this, there is lots of evidence of change failing to deliver the desired results. What do those changes that succeed have as their essential ingredients?

1. Commitment

If anything is going to change, there must be commitment at all levels. The top team need to be clear on the need for the change, buy into it and be committed to helping others achieve it. Managers at all levels need to be committed to addressing misconceptions, gaining trust, supporting and encouraging each other and their teams. Employees need to be totally committed too, as it is this group that will ultimately determine whether it is a success or not.

2. Communication

When employees are not clear what is happening, they start to speculate, make their own judgements and choices. A clear and effective communication strategy is one of the essential cornerstones of any change. People need clear communication on:

* The reasons for change

* The benefits

* How any impact such as job losses will be handled

3. Realism

Successful change is grounded in realism. Take for example two organisations that are facing significant financial challenges. The CEO of A PLC states that it will take three years to turn things round. The CEO of B PLC states that everything will be fixed in 9 months. If you are a shareholder, analyst, employee, supplier or customer, which organisation are you most likely to get behind?

4. Defined Outcome

Any organisation that wants to make a successful change needs to be clear on where it is heading and what it will be like when the change has been completed. Some of the questions that need to be considered include:

* How will we be viewed in the market place

* What will our balance sheet look like

* How will people behave

* What will we have a reputation for

5. Clear Accountability

The fifth essential ingredient in successful change is make sure that everyone know what they are responsible for and that there is a clear process that holds people to account for what they have achieved. It also allows people to ask for help and support when things are not progressing as they would have expected.

At the end of the day there are no guarantees that any change will succeed. Nevertheless by adopting some simple steps, you can greatly enhance the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Duncan Brodie is a Leadership Development Coach and Management Trainer. He specialises in helping brilliant accountants and professionals to become great leaders so that they realise their career and earnings potential.

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Duncan Brodie may be contacted at


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