Adapting for Success: Managing Change by Howard, Date: May 19, 2020

Have you ever wondered why some companies are more successful than others in similar circumstances? What are these people doing right? What do the winners do differently? The answers remain consistent, regardless of external circumstances.

A survey by Professor Colin Coulson-Thomas, a specialist in corporate transformation, shows the experiences from over 2000 companies. The results suggest that most of the critical success factors are attitudinal and behavioral.

First, let’s examine the most prominent characteristic attitudes and behaviors of “less successful” companies:

  • They are unsure and unaware of the needs of others
  • They are cautious and fail to inspireand motivate
  • They respond to events and often fail to anticipate the need for change (reactive, not proactive)
  • They confuse operational with strategic business issues
  • They fail to notice what is important and the biggest opportunities for performance improvement



Next, let’s examine the most prominent characteristic attitudes and behaviors of “winners”:

  • They tend to have a longer-term perspective 
  • They are confident, positive and proactive
  • They create compelling visions
  • They encourage innovation, trust other people, and share information and opportunities with them
  • They understand their customers and concern themselves with increasing customer retention
  • They value relationships, empathize, ask for feedback, and are good listeners
  • They have a plan
  • They recognize that change can be stressful and can disrupt valued relationships
  • They only change what they need to change
  • They communicate why change is necessary



Management’s first responsibility is to identify processes or behaviors that are inhibiting productivity and replace them with more effective ones. In many cases, change can be extremely beneficial with lots of positives.

However, certain changes do sometimes produce a tremendous amount of resistance. It is the job of management to provide support to their team through the process of these changes, which sometimes are very difficult.

Management must help employees accept change and help them become well adjusted and effective once these changes have been implemented.