Driving and managing change will remain the number one priority for leaders according to a recently published study. All too often organizations announce big changes and new programs with big events and fanfare, but then very little actually happens.
Journalists dig for information, and items can run in the media before employees hear about them. Failure to create a strong sense of urgency causes a change movement to lose momentum before it gets a chance to start. Organizational change will be extremely difficult in most cases if managers rely only on making a case to the rational, analytical, problem-solving side of the brain. Managing resistance to change is challenging and it’s not possible to be aware of all sources of resistance to change.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in initiating major company changes is to expect that everyone’s reaction will be even remotely like yours. Regardless of the catalyst for the change, it will be your employees who determine whether it successfully achieves its desired outcome. Change management communications need to be targeted to each segment of the workforce, and delivered in a two-way fashion that allows people to make sense of the change subjectively. All change in organizations is challenging, but perhaps the most daunting is changing culture. Organizations usually have networks and coalitions of people that are not visible on the formal organization chart. Leaders must actively involve the people most affected by the change in its implementation. Creating a higher level of performance, lowering cost, raising quality, carving out a new relationship to the market always requires a mix of decisions and behavior change. An important part of sticking to the vision is to create opportunities to achieve smaller goals along the way. If you declare victory too soon, the focus will be taken away from your efforts, and all traces of your hard work could soon disappear.
Doing things again the same way as you did before when even then they didn’t work properly.
Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management.
The practicality and simplicity of the outlined change management mistakes is most appreciated!
Hi Rick, I like your list also, after having read through the list – I think number 7 need to be addressed further. Also we need to consider the fact that not all have a negative reaction to change and that it is individually on how fast one person slide through the phase in the graph – the positive reaction to change – because if we don’t, we risk losing some important people on the way towards achieving the new stage. In many situations the need for change is driven by top management due to lackluster performance, and most of the management layers below are not driving the change (because they often lack the knowledge, which the employees have, to know HOW they can dramatically improve the performance), but instead middle management is often only trying to reduce the impact of the change that is forced upon them. In other words, I often see that the top decides HOW we are going to change, instead of setting PERFORMANCE objectives and involving the rest of the organisation on how this should be done. Change management is a systemic approach of dealing with transitioning individuals, organizations and teams to a change to achieve a desired future state. To obtain smooth and successful implementation of the changes to achieve lasting benefits, then organizational change management should be considered because it is a structured approach in an organization. Organizational change that involves new objectives, processes for a team or group of people and actions, utilize workshops to achieve involvement, plans, understanding, measurable aims, commitment and actions. Change management is a much broader field and its approaches vary widely, from project to project and from organization to organization.
Change management aims to focus on people and ensures that the change is ever-lasting, smooth and thoroughly implemented.

Change management can be implemented softly and gradually or, vice-versa, swiftly and abruptly.
Whether the change is large or small, the ability to manage it is a critical component of high performance. Establishing a true sense of urgency without creating an emergency is the first objective achieved to overcome the routine of daily business. Instead, they must also make an emotional case for change and align the rational and emotional elements of the appeal.
People aren’t going to consider anything until they are convinced there is a problem that truly needs to be addressed. Expecting that there will be resistance to change and being prepared to manage it is a proactive step. When people in an organization realize and recognize that their current organizational culture needs to transform to support the organization’s success and progress, change can occur. This will help ensure employees at all levels of the organization embrace the proposed changes. Like any business operation, It also calls for the right skills and resources, Organizations often simply fail to commit the necessary time, people, and resources to making change work.
Break down your vision into smaller short-term goals, and communicate short-term successes at each opportunity. These small successes will not only work directly toward achieving the desired change, but will create positive feelings of accomplishment and the drive to pursue the next goal. Successful companies consistently re-evaluate their change efforts to determine where other areas can be improved, such as employee development and retention, new projects and new systems and structures. I would rather think, the challenge may vary from complete lack of communication to lack of change communication to appropriate impacted parties at detailed level as needed.
Furthermore we need to look at their current mental state (Stress on workplace, at home etc.) you could call it the personal stamina towards change) and then we have to look at how they imagine the future after the change process has taken place – is it attractive enough and does the change process insure the right level of involvement and influence on their own job situation). These people will be the strong ones that can’t see themselves in the “new tomorrow” and therefore will leave the organization. If a change is not realistic, or you have a high priority project I have found people find ways to work around changes being made. In the context of project management, changes that are done in any project which are formally introduced and approved mainly refer to as change management. Change management is basically a known discipline for over half a century. In the environment of modern business, organizations go through rapid changes which were never before. Change management team must be encouraged to use workshops with their people to bring a positive change in the organization. Usually a full change management process is much more about full control than agility, though, as Charles Cobb (2011) notes, there is an implicit need to balance control and agility.
Do they feel a sense of crisis, a “burning platform?” If not, how can you create it? It’s far better to anticipate objections than to spend your time putting out fires, and knowing how to overcome resistance to change is a vital part of any change management plan.
Leadership, on the other hand, is hard to teach, springing as it does from many personal qualities.
Behavior change asks people to act differently, gain new skills, or shift the organization’s culture. Paradoxically, successful behavior change often demands the very skills the change Is trying to create. I agree with your advice, but I don’t believe that resistance has to go with the territory. Also, i have noticed that it is critical, especially on large scale transformation efforts to have an exclusive change manager or a Management of Change lead.

This altogether will if discovered prior to the large change processes, give the organization a huge advantage towards avoiding failure. Beginning change without the commitment and critical mass of the most senior stakeholders affected by the change can often lead to difficulties and demotivation later. Change leadership requires a specific skill set that is quite different from the project management skills.
In spite of the large amount of investment companies making in tools, thousands of books and training,a 60-70% failure rate for organizational change projects is found by the studies.
Novel technologies and globalization result in a constantly evolving and emerging business environment. It is a question to be answered that what is required to meet the challenges of change management t as defined in the objectives and scope, and how to work with other people and new projects’ activities and responsibilities. And, compared to the great quantity of management tools, few leadership tools are available to the manager. Getting people to change their behavior requires a different mindset and a different set of leadership skills than making decisions about strategy. When change management is left to the project managers, it often becomes a deliverable rather than a component that drives the change within the organization. Fully utilizing the Change Manager’s talent, tools, and processes may seem tedious at first. Kotter believes that a change management process should be initiated with a specific attention on short term performance in order to minimize the risks associated with the whole process of change.
In Collins’ book, good to Great, he discusses great organizations that are so good at keeping people in the loop regarding goals, threats, opportunities, etc. It is also refreshing to see that there are people who do not see a drop in morale during a big change as a negative! This may not always be an option, especially if a vendor contract is involved, however it should be monitored and encouraged as soon as possible. But using a consistent process is an investment in success because at the end of the day, every improvement or innovation is dependent on people being willing to adopt the changes required.
Organizations should learn to accommodate themselves with the change associated with the business experiencing a great change in its environment. Put differently, if we disassemble the whole change process into a series of individual procedures and goals, we can then start by the easiest ones and build on the deliverables to move on. Too often leaders miss the importance of pre-planning so that every stakeholder can see 9and feel) why a change is needed.
Thus, the change management and adaptation to the organizational change is a vital skill which is needed in every workplace today.
Robert Lussier (2012) clearly illustrates this view when he says that incremental change is like canoeing in calm waters. By contrast, he adds, coping with a dynamic environment filled with uncertainty and requiring rapid change in order to react to unexpected events is like white-water rafting. In other words, it is a step-by-step roadmap which tantamounts basically to an incremental change process as opposed to a radical change process.
Phillip Howard (2012) says that agile development (or, sensu latu, agile management) is all about speed, responsiveness to change and flexibility. He considers that change management does not have to be heavy weight and intrusive and nor should it be for an agile environment, because in theory (not always achieved in practice of course) requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. Leandro Herrero (2008) wonders in a curious narrative (in Viral Change, pp.
In this case, recognition or celebrating success is perceived as an important part in building support and momentum for change.

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