NRI Papers
No. 197 August 1, 2014
  Considerations on the Ability to Achieve Change  
Ichiro MORISAWA

Given the recent bewildering changes to the external environment, many companies have increasingly been finding themselves in situations where they must undertake major corporate change to significantly transform their strategies, systems/mechanisms, business processes, mindsets or the like, rather than adopting a reform-type approach whereby the way of doing things in the past was improved.

To be successful in change efforts, a company is required to overcome the inhibiting factors of "wholesale delegation" and "superficial compliance," which are prevalent within the company, thereby increasing the suitability of actions taken for the implementation of change. For this purpose, three types of skills must be enhanced. They are: skills to give detailed instructions, skills to involve many people and collaborative skills.

An effective way to enhance these types of skills is to acknowledge the concepts of "master schedule" and "barriers." In addition to the phase of implementing change projects, the master schedule includes a series of processes from planning, implementation to institutionalization. During these processes, the barriers that must be surmounted appear. By predicting the appearance of these barriers, specific solutions can be developed beforehand.

The master schedule and barriers that must be assumed depend on the type of change. Therefore, the first step toward success is to identify the type of change that is to be pursued.

Most change efforts made by Japanese companies come under the "good to great" type where a person promoted to a leadership position within a company leads change. Because this type of change must go through all processes assumed for the master schedule and encounters many barriers, attaining success requires careful preparations and a bold commitment to implementation.

Contents
I A Need for "The Ability to Achieve Change"
II Breaking through Structural Factors Blocking Change
III "Master Schedule" for Change and "Barriers" to Overcome
IV Utilizing Relationships between Master Schedule and Barriers

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