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Five Reasons Change Initiatives Fail

Leadership and Management

Five Reasons Change Initiatives Fail

Change is the name of the leadership game these days in higher education. So much has changed since the pandemic, and the landscape keeps evolving. As post-Covid enrollment and budget realities hit with many institutions still facing the looming demographic cliff, college leaders must face an ever-changing planning environment. They must also be ready to pivot in state and federal political terrain as higher education becomes the new political football with respect to Title IX, DEI legislation, threats to tenure and academic freedom, and more. This all means that higher education leadership is now change leadership, and leaders must be equipped to not only manage significant change initiatives but also lead them. One aspect of successful leadership is knowing how to avoid failure. Based on my experience advising dozens of campus change initiatives over the past 10 years, here are five reasons change initiatives fail. Let’s call them change pitfalls.

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