24 Elements of Successful Organizational Change

By: Mckinsey & Company

In this survey, we asked executives about 24 practical actions most important to the successful implementation of an organizational transformation. Below are the specific actions in order of their impact (from greatest to least) on the likelihood of a transformation’s success, according to the results.

1. Senior managers communicate openly about the transformation’s progress and success

2. Everyone can see how her/his work relates to the organization’s vision

3. Leaders model the behavior changes they ask employees to make

4. All personnel adapt their day-to-day capacity to changes in customer demand

5. Senior managers communicate openly about the transformation’s implications for individuals’ day-to-day work

6. Everyone is actively engaged in identifying errors before they reach customers

7. Best practices are systematically identified, shared, and improved

8. The organization develops its people so they can surpass performance expectations

9. Managers know that their primary role is to lead and develop their teams

10.   Performance evaluations hold initiative leaders accountable for their transformation contributions

11.   Leaders use a consistent change story to align the organization around the transformation’s goals

12.   Roles and responsibilities in the transformation are clearly defined

13.   All personnel are fully engaged in meeting their individual goals and targets

14.   Sufficient personnel are allocated to support initiative implementation

15.   Expectations for new behaviors are incorporated directly into annual performance reviews

16.   At every level of the organization, key roles for the transformation are held by employees who actively support it

17.   Transformation goals are adapted for relevant employees at all levels of the organization

18.   Initiatives are led by line managers as part of their day-to-day responsibilities

19.   The organization assigns high-potential individuals to lead the transformation, giving them direct responsibility for initiatives

20.   A capability-building program is designed to enable employees to meet transformation goals

21.   Teams start each day with a formal discussion about the previous day’s results and current day’s work

22.   Use diagnostic tools to help quantify goals (e.g., for new mind-sets and behaviors, cultural changes, organizational agility) for the transformation’s long-term sustainability

23.   Leaders of initiatives receive change-leadership training during the transformation

24.   A dedicated organizing team (e.g., a project-management or transformation office) centrally coordinate the transformation


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