“How Good Is Your Company…” by Michels & Murphy

Topic: Management
Words: 294 Pages: 1

In the article “How good is your company at change?” the authors, Michels and Murphy, outline and explain nine elements that determine a company’s potential for change. They present a new system that could become a measure for change preparedness and capability, using the case of Delta Airlines, as the company encountered a problem during the COVID-19 pandemic. The passengers were reluctant to book flights, and the company quickly introduced a change – customers could no longer purchase tickets for middle seats. This initiative alleviated many of the clients’ anxieties and led to better performance of Delta in comparison to other businesses. Based on the success of Delta, Michels and Murphy (2021) developed a set of elements of change power, which could be used to measure businesses’ abilities for change and reveal their weaknesses. These traits include purpose, direction, connection, capacity, choreography, scaling, development, action, and flexibility (Michels & Murphy, 2021). Each element corresponds to a particular strength of a business.

Using this set of elements, the authors collected information from 37 organizations’ employees to determine the performance of these companies. As a result, Michels and Murphy (2021) outlined four company types, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The first type is “in search of focus” – these businesses have the resources for change but do not have a direction. Next, “stuck and skeptical” companies are resistant to take action, and their employees feel disconnected. “Aligned but constrained” firms have a direction but do not possess the resources or executive talent. Finally, “struggling to keep up” businesses are experiencing fatigue due to the slow change process. The authors conclude that the presented analysis of change capacity can be used to find weak spots in the business and determine future actions to overcome problems.


Michels, D., & Murphy, K. (2021, July-August). How good is your company at change? Harvard Business Review, 1-11.

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