Why Organizational Change Often Fails

There are many reasons your organization will fail in the next generation. Most all of the reasons have to do with the present leadership not planning for the change.

In this post I want to talk about realistic planning for budgeting. Most of the time organizations plan to maintain the same roles as they have now and this is one of the biggest mistakes. As you grow and mature your organization is developing just like you did go through school.

Preschool, elementary, middle school, high school, college and advanced degrees are what many of us have gone through. Your organization also develops similarly.

The Citadel: The seniors just walked the Long Gray Line across the parade field. Now they are just celebrating. [NIKON D3, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 360, 1/80, ƒ/13, (35mm = 14)]

You started with one teacher and then when you progress upward, you need more teachers in specialties to help you maximize your talents.

If you retire and the organization is still in the elementary years of the organization, they may fail because they were not planning for the need for more staff, more supplies and space to operate in the future.

Let me tell you the story of how one man [Zack] hurt a nonprofit because they were focused so much on the present he was not really helping the organization plan for tomorrow.

The largest need of a nonprofit is to tell their story to their donors. Zack was one of the best marketing guys in business. He was working for a fortune 50 size company. He knew how to tell stories to build a brand.

He had a huge heart for this nonprofits mission. They were an educational nonprofit that was changing communities all over Asia. Zack knew that the organization couldn’t afford him so he donated all of his time.

The problem came when Zack could no longer help the organization. He had retired and his health kept him from being able to contribute any more.

He never helped the organization understand how they needed to budget for someone like him in the future. He didn’t groom the next marketing/communications person. He loved to travel and the organization was thriving. He loved also to do a lot of the work himself. He took photos, videos and wrote as well. He found his friends to help as well.

This is the changing of the guard ceremony as part of the annual Corps Day/Recognition Day weekend ceremonies. This is when the Summerall Guards performed their last precision drills as a unit and then passed their rifles to the new platoon. [NIKON D3, 122.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 200, 1/800, ƒ/4, (35mm = 390)]

Don’t be just like Zack for your organization. Teach and mentor those who will replace you. Most of all help setup the organization to later afford to pay someone with your skills. Help them understand how to budget for the organization with the next generation of leaders.

Great leaders prepare the next generation and work themselves out of their job.

You see Zack had succumb to pride and his ego. He loved doing the work and getting the recognition for it as well. Zack was on an ego trip.

If you were no longer around and the rest of the staff as well all left, what would the organization need to not just survive, but thrive? Take the time away from the present work to plan for the future work. Create teams to help budget for the needs of the future.

You will discover that the time for the new leadership to start taking ownership is long before you are ready to give it up.

The Citadel: Commencement 2011 [NIKON D3S, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 12800, 1/1600, ƒ/3.8, (35mm = 35)]