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Behaviors and project success – is there a link to be made?

A Bain & Company study reveals that 65% of change initiatives require behavioral change. Only 34% of change initiatives are a succes. Success rate inversely proportional to changes in behavior required. Is there a link? What do you think?

Behaviors and project success rates: Is there a link?

It is a well-known fact that only 34% of project succeed while 66% of fail to meet their goals. Interestingly, a Bain & Company study reveals that 65% of change initiatives require behavioral change.  The similarity between the two statistics is striking.

Does one of the many factors contributing to the failure of change initiatives lie in our inability to properly identify those behaviors that need to change and to develop a robust strategy to change them?

Whether as leaders, change agents or experts, I think we fall too easily into the trap of magical thinking "if we build it, they will come", that is to say if we communicate, consult and train our people, they will naturally adopt the desired behavior.

According to my reading on the subject, the reality is quite different. Rarely do we take the time to identify key behaviors that are required to ensure the success of a change initiative and to build a deliberate strategy to make it happen. Nothing is more difficult than changing entrenched behaviors

A key to the success of our change initiatives is to be very clear about the two or three key changes that need to occur and to implement a strategy that uses multiple sources of influence (reason, emotion, communication, recognition, social support, metrics, etc.) to achieve the goals.

Do your change management strategies sufficiently take into account the behavioral component?

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