Organisations are anchored by powerful forces

In this short video David Trafford and Peter Boggis discuss why organisations find it difficult to change. Even with new approaches to organisational and transformational change the success rate has not significantly improved over the past decades. In fact it’s often quoted that only about five percent of large-scale transformation programmes are successful. Also, 80 percent of mergers and acquisitions destroy shareholder value, rather than increase it. And this is in an era where there are more professionally qualified managers and leaders than ever before.

David and Peter’s belief is that the fundamental reason leaders find it so difficult to change the trajectory of their organisation is that they are anchored to their current trajectory by a set of powerful ‘navigating’ forces. Some of these forces are easily observable, including organisational structure, leadership style and market trends. Others, like culture and the unwritten rules that define how an organisation operates, are more difficult to grasp.

One of the most powerful of these forces are the capabilities that an organisation has developed over time. These organisational capabilities are formed from a combination of shared mental models, common language, processes, habits, practices, conventions and shared experiences. Examples include process management, acquisition integration and cost control. In many respects they are the muscles of the organisation, and the more they are used the more powerful they become.

In this video David and Peter talk about how the organisational capabilities that led to Blockbuster’s phenomenal growth were the same ones that led to its downfall.

Watch David and Peter’s video.

For further information see:
How Organisational Capabilities Anchor You to Your Current Trajectory
Using Organisational Capabilities to Pull the Present into the Future
The Impact of Organisational Capabilities on Project Success

Watch the next video in the series, where David and Peter discuss how an organisation’s strategic intent can be defined by its strategic signature.