Today’s business environment is characterized by rapid change; small and large firms alike are implementing transformation initiatives more frequently than ever, driven by factors such as technological developments, competition, regulations and industry consolidation trends.

Though transformations have become increasingly necessary and common, many firms have difficulty getting them right. The results from various surveys remind us of the startling high failure rates and the resulting costs:

• According to IBM (2008), only 40% of projects meet their schedule, quality and budget goals.
• Research conducted by KPMG in New Zealand in 2010 found that 70% of organizations had experienced a least one project failure in the preceding year.
• A UK study of more than 5,000 IT projects by McKinsey/BT found evidence of a total cost overrun of $66 billion, with 17% of projects being so disastrous they threatened to destroy their companies.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for any company that needs to implement a change initiative is internal resistance. People often resist change, and this can seriously sabotage or hinder progress on a transformation initiative. Being able to recognize and overcome staff resistance – which may be covert or subtle – is often crucial for a successful organizational transformation.