Fast Company has an article on change for their May 2005 cover story. A caption from the article states that “some 90% of heart-bypass patients can’t change their lifestyles–even at the risk of dying. No wonder changing people’s behavior is toughest challenge in business.”
Harvard business school professor John Cotter discusses the most important challenge facing businesses: “The central issue is never strategy, structure, culture, or systems. The core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people.”
The article goes on to conclude that emotional factors change people’s behavior, not factual/logical appeals (e.g., change or you will die). This reinforces my belief that interpersonal skills and emotional motivation are key to the success of any project or change effort. A great article worth reading.