In his recent blog, Jason Little commented that "change lives or dies with the people affected by it". How true that is. There is no change program in this world that can possibly be successful unless it begins and ends with its people.
But whilst that may be true it is all too easily forgotten and is the primary cause of the myriad enterprise IT projects which utterly fail to engage workforces around the world.
A good example is a manufacturing business I was at a little while ago. Shortly after walking through the door the COO told me that they had introduced 5 major IT projects in the last 2 years and the result was chaos, confusion and apathy. None of the systems worked together; employees didn't understand their purpose, let alone how to use them properly and as a result there was universal derision and lack of engagement. But his solution was yet another system to glue them all together and when later that was the route they chose, the problem unsurprisingly recurred. Whether by design, lack of budget or a myopic technical approach to transformation they consistently overlooked the most important ingredient for success - employee engagement. As a result their failure tally now stands at 6 projects; they have not learned from their mistakes and chaos, confusion and apathy still reign.
I believe any change lives or dies with the people affected by the change.