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 / Spring 2004 / Issue 34(originally published by Booz & Company)


Four Antidotes to Change Resistance

Support the change with new tools and systems. The international bank cited above created customer profitability models to help the sales force identify priority accounts for cross-selling, and developed balanced scorecards to monitor changes in sales behavior and financial results. Incentives were being adapted to reward the selling of noncredit products. The most successful units have used recognition programs to help employees understand the new definitions of success.

However, incentives also need to include negative repercussions for those who resist the change program. The top team needs to communicate that employees who cannot change will need to either move into new positions or leave the company.

Companies often say that their employees are their greatest asset. Yet the very attributes that make them valuable — their commitment and passion, and the satisfaction, identity, and pride they derive from their work and the company’s success — also create formidable barriers to change. With these four techniques, companies can break down these barriers and make change happen, while still treating their employees with dignity and respect.

Author Profiles:

John Jones ([email protected]) is a vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton in New York. Mr. Jones is a specialist in organization design, process reengineering, and change management.

Claudia Staub ([email protected]) is a vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton in Zurich, Switzerland. Ms. Staub specializes in organization design, values-based leadership, and change management.

Elizabeth Powers ([email protected]), a senior associate in Booz Allen Hamilton’s New York office, specializes in change management for companies that are designing and implementing new operating models.
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