It’s no secret that colleges and universities need to continue to change in order to meet the needs of 21st century students. But how receptive are large organizations to those change agents toiling away among us? According to Stratford Sherman and Marisa Faccio, writing in Strategy and Business magazine, not very.

In their article, Stand By Your Change Agent, they report that “85 percent of the major change initiatives we studied met or exceeded the performance goals set for them at the start, fewer than 30 percent of the initiatives’ full-time leaders were promoted — and the same percentage were terminated or left their companies voluntarily at the conclusion of the change effort. The remaining 40 percent either re­mained in their positions or moved laterally in their organizations. Those are astonishing numbers: Some 70 percent of the executives who led these major transformations went unrewarded, or were sidelined, fired, or spurred to leave. Most companies would be horrified to learn that they were wasting raw materials or financial capital on such a scale, yet the companies we studied wasted human capital in this key discipline at a staggering rate. And the impact on future change initiatives, although not measurable, is equally staggering; how many highly talented managers will step up to a leadership role in such an effort if they sense that it could derail their careers”

Read more of their article here (free registration required)