Over the past twenty-five years, leaders in both private and public sectors have spent billions of dollars implementing a range of management tools and practices in their efforts to improve performance. But the evidence of success on the ground is thin. In 1995, Harvard professor John Kotter published research indicating that only 30 percent of change programs succeed; in 2008, a McKinsey & Company survey came up with exactly the same percentage.1 It seems that change initiatives have continued to have minimal impact. Why is it that tools such as the balanced scorecard, benchmarking, and customer relationship management, which the management consulting industry trumpeted so loudly, have not had the impact their sponsors proclaimed? ...

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