Praise for Who Killed Change?

Have you ever reflected on a change initiative while doing your Lessons Learned exercise and wondered… “Gosh… how did that piece go wrong?” Or, at least not as you had planned. While it’s wonderful to look back and see how the overall change was successfully adopted….the true lessons lie within what can be improved for the next initiative we undertake. We’ve heard that 70 percent of change efforts fail (albeit the number is to be debated) due to one or a combination of variables such as resistance to change, ineffective process, lack of organizational support, etc. but when you look back and reflect, you may be surprised what you uncover.

So how do you begin? Well look no further…a fun resource awaits to guide you. Ken Blanchard, an international bestselling author and motivation speaker has written an inspiring book entitled Who Killed Change? In the book, you take on the role of Agent McNally – who is a Columbo-style detective (yes.. dating myself here… as I eagerly watched the show in my teen years) who sets out find out who or what killed change. While the book is written as a light-hearted fable, don’t be fooled, because within its 160 easy-to-read pages it takes a hard look at those key potential barriers such as culture, urgency, vision, the plan, sponsorship, commitment, communication, budget, incentive, training, accountability, and a few other pain points that can hamper your initiative. As a side note – if you look at the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP)’s Standard for Change Management, you will recognize those same obstacles within its change management process groups.

The book explores all the suspected characters such as Caroline Culture, Victoria Vision, Claire Communications, Earnest Urgency, and Bailey Budget, to name a few, and the role each of them played in killing the change. It’s here where here you can go through your checklist to see where the gaps occurred within your change effort. The story concludes with the announcement of the murderer – along with a valuable section that outlines best practices and questions to ask yourself. A great reflective exercise.

While there are plenty of great books on change management out there (thank you to all the talented expert/authors out there!), this is a nice read for those new to the world of change management – as it explains all those roadblocks that can hamper change in an entertaining style. So, if your organization is looking to build the change capabilities of newer members of your change team, this book is highly recommended to welcome and start them on their change practitioner journey.

The book ends with an inspiring quote that summarizes how you can prepare to be successful in your next change effort which is such a great reminder to us all. “Change can be successful only when the usual characters in an organization combine their unique talents, and consistently involve others in initiating, implementing, and sustaining change.” Wishing you much success as you drive change in your organization.

– John Boylan

Source: Blanchard, Kenneth, et al. Who killed change? Solving the mystery of leading people through change. William Morrow Publishing. 2009.