The Ken Blanchard Companies Releases Research On Why Change Efforts Fail
Top reasons: excluding affected parties & failing to address employee concerns

SAN DIEGO—April 29, 2021—The Ken Blanchard Companies®, a global leader in management training, consulting, and coaching, announced today its findings about why change initiatives fail. This research is extremely important, as the Harvard Business Review estimates that 70% of change efforts fail.

On April 21, 2021, author and instructor Dr. Vicki Halsey conducted an hour-long webinar entitled Increasing Your Capacity for Change in Today's Work Environment. More than 600 professionals from companies of all sizes around the world attended the event. Many of the attendees were learning & development (L&D) professionals.

To establish a baseline, Dr. Halsey first asked respondents, “How good is your organization at implementing change on a scale of one to ten?” Only 15.7% of respondents rated their organization an 8, 9, or 10.

“Our research suggests that most organizations lack the expertise to run a successful change initiative. Considering that the speed of business is increasing, many businesses will struggle as they respond to marketplace demands,” observed Dr. Halsey.

Respondents were then asked, “Which of the following best describes your organization’s approach to change?”; 31.6% said “top-down from executive leadership.” Some 47.1% said, “top-down from executive leadership in partnership with management.”

“Our research shows that change management efforts that invite all affected parties into the process are most likely to succeed. However, only 21.1% of respondents said their organization uses such an approach. Doing change to people instead of with people is a recipe for failure,” said Dr. Halsey.

Respondents were then asked, “What makes change challenging in your organization?” Their top three answers:

  1. Those being asked to change were not involved in planning the change (65.8%)
  2. People’s concerns and questions are not surfaced or addressed (46%)
  3. Barriers to change are not identified and fixed (41.2%)

“Typical change initiatives are top-down affairs that don’t include affected employees. This creates fear and resistance, ultimately resulting in a failed initiative,” noted Dr. Halsey. “But change efforts can be successful if they invite everyone into the process.”

About The Ken Blanchard Companies
The Ken Blanchard Companies is a global leader in management training, consulting, and coaching. For more than 40 years, Blanchard has been helping organizations develop inspired leaders at all levels and create cultures of connection that unleash talent and deliver extraordinary results. Blanchard’s SLII® powers inspired leaders and is the leadership model of choice for more than 10,000 organizations worldwide. Blanchard also offers a suite of other award-winning leadership development solutions through flexible delivery modalities to meet the specific needs of its clients. Learn more at

Blanchard’s Leading People Through Change® course teaches leadership skills needed for their success, like allying with advocates to influence resisters and resolving conflicts as they arise. When managers are ready for difficult moments, a successful transition is assured.

The Ken Blanchard Companies