Transformation Efforts Fail: 8
Errors to Avoid
Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE
you are spearheading efforts to introduce a new program or
direction, it is essential that you develop leadership competency in
you must learn and apply personal communication strategies and
techniques in group or one-on-one situations to enroll physicians in
your cause. (I have shared some specific strategies in previous
you must become familiar with change management frameworks and
methodically implement your initiative according to your framework
coaching my clients who are leading change initiatives, I often
suggest the framework of John
his book, “Leading
Kotter outlines eight specific
principles for successfully leading change.
also restates his principles as “errors organizations make” when
their transformation efforts fail.
What follows are his eight
you are leading change, go through this list of ERRORS and rate
yourself on your leadership competency:
#1: Allowing Too Much Complacency
– Transformation efforts always fail when complacency levels
are high. How
well have you created urgency for change before plowing ahead
with your program?
#2: Failing to Create a Sufficiently Powerful Guiding Coalition
– Individuals, no matter how energetic or committed, will not
pull off a major change initiative.
Several individuals, including members of the senior
team, MUST be committed to your program’s success.
have you developed a powerful guiding coalition?
the Power of Vision
– Vision plays a central role by helping stakeholders and the
front line to align their actions.
A “plan” will not substitute for a well-articulated
well have you created a vision that EVERYONE can verbalize
easily and with understanding?
the Vision by a Factor of 10
– A one-time communication event or retreat, or a short-term
effort at notifying the front line is not sufficient to ensure
buy-in to the change. How
well are you consistently, creatively
and relentlessly communicated your vision?
Obstacles to Block the New Vision – Obstacles
can be organizational structure, procedures and policies, or
supervisors and managers who resist the new change and therefore
block the efforts. How
well are you acknowledging and confronting the obstacles in the
path of change?
to Create Short-term Wins –
Transformation takes time and therefore short-term wins must be
part of the strategy in order to keep everyone on the journey.
well have you planned short term wins and milestone achievement?
Victory Too Soon – Because
new methods and workflow takes time to sink deeply into the
culture, be careful about assuming completion too early.
are you maintaining vigilance and reinforcing the vision long
after the project plans are completed?
#8: Neglecting to
Anchor Changes Firmly in the Corporate Culture
– When the new way of operating result in improvement and are
also adopted by the next generation of leaders or front-line
clinicians, then it becomes “the way we’ve always done
well are you planning for how leadership successors and new
employees will be champions of the vision?
These eight “errors” can serve as a handy check-list for
physician leaders who suspect their change initiative is going
you are a physician leading change and transformation in your
organization, please join your colleagues and me for a free tele-forum
on March 12 to share your experiences.
See details below. Also,
if you would like to explore how executive coaching can help you
achieve the results you want, contact me for an introductory
R. Gaillour, MD
Coach for Healthcare Leaders
- (206) 686-4205