Why organizational change efforts fail

An organization is an abstraction. It is a concept symbolic of the network of teams that produce what we say "the organization" produces. Trying to change the abstraction of "the organization" fails because you can't change an abstraction. Actual change doesn't happen at the level of abstraction. It happens at the level of teams. Change happens one team at a time. It is team-specific.

That's why it works. The collective performance and loyalty of a network of teams gets to the next level because each of these networked teams get to their next higher levels of team performance and loyalty.  In this context, change is always social, not bureaucratic. It comes from shared power and responsibility rather than a two-class system of power and responsibility haves and have-nots. People only support, align with and become inspired by the change they create together.