Often the real barriers to organizational change are lurking beneath the surface. Three steps can uncover them: act like an anthropologist, use sophisticated tools to analyze the breadcrumbs, and use drawings to tease out subtle dimensions of an organization’s culture.
Misaligned incentives. Insufficient investment in training. Conflicting priorities. A few rotten apples on the executive team. All of these are typical responses to the question: What’s blocking your change efforts? And, in our view, such answers are insufficiently shallow. Finding the root cause of barriers to change requires leaders to probe into their organization’s subconscious to surface, diagnose, and ultimately address hidden, often subtle, barriers. Here’s how we did that for one of our clients and what we learned.