Autopsies of Big Change Management Failures Can Provide Great Insights
If you resist learning and change, your career and your company are probably not set up for success. Here are a few examples from decades of change management consulting projects of now-defunct organizations whose big change management failures show they did not adequately:
Change Management Autopsy #1 – Borders Bookstore
The first of our autopsies of big change management failures focuses on Borders Bookstore.
Change Management Autopsy #2 – Hummer
Hummer, the out-sized, rugged, status-symbol of a GM product failed to see the writing on the wall. They received early success because of the early American desire for big vehicles that could travel over any terrain in the world. But tastes change and, as they did,
Hummer lost its brand desirability because they did not change or adapt to the external environment.
Change Management Autopsy #3 – Blockbuster Video
Blockbuster was doing great as the leader in video rentals. Viacom purchased them for a whopping $8.4 billion in 1991. Then they seemed to lose their way.
Blockbuster wasn’t paying attention to what mattered to their customers…one of the devastating change management failures to make with internal or external stakeholders.
Change Management Autopsy #4 – Kodak
A company that was founded in 1888, Kodak made multiple missteps over its century-long life. Kodak:
But many would say that Kodak failed because they didn’t foresee how quickly and completely digital cameras would take over the industry that depended on film sales. They were caught behind the times.
What Do These Big Change Management Failures Have in Common?
All different industries…all eventual failures. Do they have anything in common? One could say that they were ineffective at foreseeing and adapting to major changes.
The Bottom Line
Maybe not all of these big change management failures could have been averted. But had they been better at foreseeing and adapting to change, we might have enjoyed a Borders website for specialty books; or a smaller, more fuel-efficient version of the Hummer; or a more user-friendly source for videos; or the kind of quality camera Kodak was famous for now in digital format.
To learn more about avoiding big change management failures, download A New Way to Think About Change – The Agile organization
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