One of the world’s most dangerous jobs: change agent

This article from Booz & Co’s “Strategy and Business” will send a chill up your spine. The article, “Stand by Your Change Agent,” by Stratford Sherman and Marisa Faccio, describes the results of a survey of 84 change initiatives between 1995 and 2005.

The initiatives themselves were successful, in the main: 85% met or exceeded the goals set out for them.

The leaders, though, didn’t fare as well. Sherman and Faccio write: “Some 70% of the executives who led these major transformations went unrewarded, or were sidelined, fired, or spurred to leave.”

The authors go on to describe types of companies at different levels of performance and how the change agent role is very risky in all but the very strongest companies. My take: large-scale changes disrupt the organization, stir up resistance, much of which gets focused on the change leader. If the change fails, the consequences are self-evident. If it succeeds, however, the pain endured in achieving it takes a toll on the person running the initiative.

If you’re considering taking this role on, do it for the experience, the resume fodder, and the feeling of accomplishment if you’re successful. Don’t do it, however, for the recognition of your peers and leaders. Chances are, that won’t be coming your way.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Blogplay

Tags: , , ,

  • Administrator

    This is a test comment to see if Disqus is working.

  • jmcaddell

    Testing DISQUS on the Wordpress blog. Does this comment appear?

  • Andrew Meyer

    I'm not sure this should come as a great surprise. In about 1500 Machiavelli pointed out that:

    “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm (indifferent, uninterested) defenders in those who may do well under the new. “

    If you don't like secular examples, consider the fact that his own people voted to hang Christ on the cross and God didn't even let Moses into the promised land.

    If you think you're going to be a change agent and be popular, you're fooling yourself.

  • Wholesale Clothing

    The post really nice , i like it ,thanks for sharing,thanks for your post, i will keep read your blog everyday

  • Wholesale Clothing

    Wonderful article, just added the site to my favorites. Thanks so much.