What’s Behind Your Successful Organizational Change Efforts: Your Customers’ Needs or Your Smarty Pants Insights?

“We believe that our activities should be governed by the needs and desires of our customers rather than by our internal requirements and insights.” Eugene F. McCabe

A system enhancement, regulatory requirement, merger and/or acquisition are often the obvious faces of organizational change. And while it may not always seem so, if you search for the root cause of most successful organizational change, it is in fact customer needs. If your search leads you to another root cause, assess the success of that change closely.

Internal requirements and smarty pants insights can be prudent/sexy/unique/mind blowing/the next great thing, etc. If you want to increase the likelihood of organizational change success, challenge yourself to ensure that the root of your great ideas are driven by your customers’ wants and needs.


Ask your customer(s):

  • What is the one thing we could change in the services we provide you that would help you most?
  • How can we change _______ to serve you better?
  • We are thinking of changing the way we ________. How could this change affect you, both positively and negatively?

Again, ask better questions to get better answers. Be wise, not smart.

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Sandra Schwan

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