This is “What Is Organizational Capacity for Change?”, chapter 2 from the book Beginning Organizational Change (v. 1.0).
This book is licensed under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms.
This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book.
Normally, the author and publisher would be credited here. However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. Additionally, per the publisher's request, their name has been removed in some passages. More information is available on this project's attribution page.
For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. You can browse or download additional books there. You may also download a PDF copy of this book (2 MB) or just this chapter (82 KB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline).
It is not the strongest of the species that will survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
The only person who likes change is a wet baby.
If the leader’s new mandate is to prepare for change in the future while delivering results in the present, then what specific preparation is required? My central thesis is that the strategic leader’s preparation for the future entails building organizations’ capacity for change, and that is the focus of the remainder of this book. In other words, this book is about helping executives fulfill the strategic leader’s new mandate.Bossidy and Charan (2002).
The business press is filled with many recent and ongoing stories of organizations that failed to adapt and change to an increasingly fluid and unpredictable environment. Indeed, a widely cited statistic is that “more than 70% of all organizational change initiatives fail.”Higgs and Rowland (2005), p. 121. Nonetheless, one of the arguments why senior executives are worthy of the lofty compensation packages that they currently command is based on the widely-held view that effective leaders and change agents are rare, but essential to cope with the volatile and hypercompetitive environments that many organizations find themselves in today.Kaplan (2008), p. 5.
In response to this pressure to change, scholars and consultants are increasingly focusing on the nature and dynamics of organizational change in an effort to distill lessons learned from previous successes and failures, and provide guidance to change agents to improve their future success rate. Notably, in a recent online search of articles written on “organizational change” in the last 20 years, I discovered that there were more than 25,000 articles published in a prominent online search engine named Proquest.ProQuest Research Library (2010). This suggests to me that the topic is of great importance to those seeking to change organizations, but that much that is written about organizational change by organizational scholars is not improving our success rate. In sum, there is more to be learned about this important subject and this book attempts to fill that gap.