Your Transition, Strategic Initiative or Culture Change will fail! Unless…

  1. Critically important organizational factors and change management issues need to be addressed to effectively transition or shift a culture.
  2. Transitioning an organization to even the best strategic solution will fail or fall short without a well thought out, well executed implementation plan.
  3. Individual habit and organization inertia will overcome any great idea that is not very carefully and systematically implemented.
  4. The rate and success of the transition will be determined by how well the organization addresses the questions listed below.
  5. By trying to hurry, it takes organizations longer and they are less successful than those taking the time and effort to do an effective and deliberate implementation.


  • Longer term, what is/are the ideal vision or the intended objective(s)? What is / are the reason(s) that we are trying to do that?
  • How is this consistent with, how do we tie this to our overall mission, vision and goals
  • What’s the goal, purpose, rationale from a business perspective?
  • Are all leaders seeing the answers to above questions in a similar way and saying the same thing?
  • Does the senior leadership team and mid-level management understand the solution, the rationale for the transition and do they support the change? Have they allocated sufficient resources?
  • Do they know what they need to do to support the transition? How will management demonstrate their support, “walk the talk”, supporting the transition and promote its success?
  • How will we know if we are successful/progressing in this transition? What are our criteria?
  • What is the accepted timeline? Is it known by all leaders? Is it realistic?
  • Will the transition be communicated repeatedly, consistently and through all channels? How will it continue to be kept “front and center” in corporate communications? Will it be regularly included in meeting agendas? Which, when?
  • Do leaders understand and communicate the potential benefits and do they understand and expect objections and provide a similar responses?
  • Is senior management willing to review, adjust and align systems, including incentive systems, healthcare premiums, policies, physical features, rewards, training etc., to support the change?
  • Do senior leaders understand the predictable reactions to this change and how to address them?


  • What specifically are we asking the employees to do, know or act, both short and long term?
  • What does an individual have to know or understand in order to be successful?
  • How will people be informed, educated? What are the most effective ways to do that?
  • How will we keep people informed, updated, notified…?
  • Have we identified, do we have and can we develop the skills and competencies required at the individual level to effectively implement this strategy?
  • Will there be pilot testing, mentoring or practice opportunities?
  • What other training information or education is needed?

Talent Management

  • Have we clearly stated the expectations?
  • Are we adding the required and expectations to job descriptions?
  • Is everyone expected to make the transition? If “no”, who is/isn’t? If “yes”, by when? If “yes”, what do we say/do with those who are resistant or refuse to change?
  • Are we evaluating performance, promoting and compensating with these requirements in mind?
  • Are we evaluating potential employees and on boarding new hires with these requirements in mind?
  • Do mgr/producer discuss it in weekly or bi-weekly review meetings?


  • How do our key support systems/infrastructure (e.g. HRIS, compensation, training, etc.) align to support this transition? Where it’s weak or misaligned, can we change it?
  • What are the intrinsic and extrinsic factors motivating individuals to adopt the changes? What intrinsic and extrinsic factors could be motivating individuals to resist the proposed changes?
  • Moving from the initial steps to project completion, what support systems have to be in place to move seamlessly through the process? What assumptions are being made, and how can we test those assumptions (and prepare the systems) before implementation?
  • As an organization, what can we measure to evaluate the success of the transition? How will we know if the transition has been or is being successful? When will we review progress?
  • Will there be any pilot testing in areas? A partial rollout before full implementation?
  • Will we have an implementation team? Who? Where? Roles? Are there champions that would be supporters? Educators for others? Is any area or group not represented?
  • Will there be a central answer center, or contact for questions? Hot line for issues, problems, feedback?
  • Do we have our policies aligned to support it? Have we looked for inconsistencies? Remove them? What new ideas, policies, practices, events, etc. can we add to support the initiative?

Implementation and Evaluation

  • Do we have the subject matter expertise / experience to do this?
  • Do we have a partner / program in place?
  • What are the specific implementation goals, the key steps and the goal dates for each? Do we know who does what when
  • What special cases, exceptions, problems, etc. can occur?
  • What insider info buzz can we create…formal? Informal (ad hoc?)
  • Pre-mortem: project into the future, if it went wrong…where did it go wrong
  • Central site… for constant feedback and updates; scoreboard…visits and wins

What potential questions are we likely to face?

  • Why are we doing this?
  • How much are we spending on all this?
  • We’ve talked about this forever…can’t we just ignore this again?
  • What about family members?
  • How do we know it will work?
  • But I don’t think it’ll work…I think it a mistake…what will I tell everyone who asks me about this?
  • What if it’s a colossal failure?
  • This may work in other places…but it won’t work here…
  • Isn’t this just the most recent fad?
  • This is just the first step…it’s a slippery slope to…
  • I’ve seen this tried in other places and it failed.
  • What if I don’t have time?
  • What if the technology fails? What if I don’t have a phone….can’t use the technology…?
  • I’ve been successful for a long time—why would you want to try and change how I do what I do?
  • So you’re making everyone do this? What if I choose not to use this method?
  • What’s the timeframe on this? Is there an implementation plan?
  • At XYZ, they use this to get rid of the people they didn’t want.

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