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

Sandra Schwan

Managing Partner at Evolving Strategies LLC
Sandra is the Managing Partner of Evolving Strategies LLC, a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, adapt and perform. Sandra holds a Master of Science degree in Adult Learning and Strategic Organizational Change from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. Previous employers include the Corporate Executive Board, Lante Corporation, Kensington International, and Accenture where Sandra was awarded mentor of the year.

Connect With Sandra:
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Sandra Schwan

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