“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” – Not Charles Darwin
This quote is often misattributed to the Origin of Species author. In fact, Quote Investigator states “The earliest relevant evidence known to QI appeared in a speech delivered in 1963 by a Louisiana State University business professor named Leon C. Megginson at the convention of the Southwestern Social Science Association.”
They go on to give several of examples of these words being attributed to Charles Darwin. Ironically, the subtle changes between each of the uses is what seems to have kept this misquote alive. So even though Darwin never penned these exact words, that doesn’t make them any less true.
If survival is change, then how one manages change determines IF they survive.
Outlined below are some scenarios that organizations commonly face. If they hope to have any chance of survival, they need to manage these changes.
Mergers and Acquisitions
This past year saw a record number of mergers and acquisitions in the United States - 13,024 to be exact. With all these M&As, came lots of changes.
The 2017 PricewaterhouseCoopers M&A Integration survey saw a 10% decline (over the past three years) in strategic success. With only 55% of organizations reporting successful M&As, the challenge associated with this type of change becomes more evident. It also revealed anywhere from an 8% to 30% decline in the achievement of go-to-market goals.
If an organization hopes to survive this challenge, they’re going to need a comprehensive change management strategy.
Whether it’s a new C-level executive or owner, a new leader always has their own way of doing things. With Brandon Hall stating that 71% of organizations do not feel their leaders are able to lead their organization into the future, change is bound to happen.
To succeed in this change, organizational leaders must clarify and communicate the purpose behind the outcome they seek. By painting a big picture of how the outcome will look and feel, creating a step-by-step plan, and giving each team member a part to play in the plan, the leadership team will be celebrating their success in no time.
This last one can cover a bunch of different areas. An organization can adapt to becoming fully remote or virtual, relocate to a new physical location, a department can move to a remote location, or a process can move to the cloud.
With any of these moves, the biggest challenges have less to do with cost and more to do with people. The psychological barriers that are associated with change, if not managed properly, can become the costliest.
Although people can be resistant to change, careful planning, training, and management can curb most of the roadblocks on the path to success. In any case, remember what Darwin didn’t say – “resistance doesn’t keep you alive – adapting does.”
Learn more about how change management training is essential for every transition. Read our eGuide HERE.