29.08.2022

Change Management

Embracing change brings success.

Change in organizations is more present than ever. 96% of companies are in the midst of organizational transformations and the pace of change is accelerating. Some organizations are trying to catch up to their competition, others are trying to stay up to date with technological advances and innovations. Yet in an environment that seems to constantly require transformation, change projects have a failure rate of 70%.

Why do so many change programs fail? 

Humans are creatures of habit and routine and like to have a purpose, clear goals, and to be valued. Change in any form within an organization have a direct or indirect effect on the employees, which can cause resistance to change if not handled properly. The unknown can be scary. Employees wonder how it will affect them and what will be different. Why is the change even necessary, is it in line with our mission, what is the goal/vision of the change, and what are the benefits? What will change in my day-to-day work life? Will I be able to adjust quickly? What if I do not like it? Will I lose my job because of the change?

All of those uncertainties and questions can cause anxiety and even resistance to accepting the change. Without employee buy-in though, the implementation of change is set up for failure. 

Additionally, the change barely happens in isolation, meaning it has an impact on the organization as a whole. This can cause friction because objectives may not align between different departments (e.g. marketing and IT), markets (e.g. HQ and local markets), and different business units who might not be fond of implementing the change.

To successfully implement changes, it's important for departments, markets, and business units to work as an aligned team that supports one another. Therefore, companies should first ensure that their Governance structure, Operating model, and Targets & Reward system is set correctly to allow for easy collaboration and fast change.

Change doesn’t come naturally and is uncomfortable for our minds, the longer we have been doing things in a certain familiar way the more uncomfortable the change can be. Therefore, change needs commitment, effort, and the right mindset. Mindset plays a big role, while one should understand what is being lost, it is important to focus more on the new opportunities that can be won in order to realize them.

Having proactive awareness to potential conflicts that may cause resistance to change should be addressed in the company communication strategy to successfully get everyone on board.

How to help a project implementation to succeed?

Implementing change is a project within itself and needs extensive planning before starting. Before planning each step of the change implementation though, it is necessary to understand the impact it has on the whole organization and each department. To successfully communicate the reasons, vision, and benefits of the change to the employees, it is very important that employees understand the reason for the change, the new vision, and what the benefits so that they can:

  • See where their skills and competencies can be put to good use
  • How they can collaborate and leverage the new opportunities and direction e.g. taskforce or change initiative/workstream
  • Look into retraining possibilities especially if their technology or process skill is likely to change

After knowing the reasons, vision, and benefits of the change on the organization and individuals, the leadership and change management team should create a Communication Strategy & Plan. It is important to be very clear in the language chosen to communicate to the employees to avoid any type of confusion. Over-communication is better than not communicating enough and risking the commitment of the affected individuals. 

A very important factor, that will help to successfully implement change, is the support from upper level and middle management. When the upper level and middle management show their involvement and supports the change by embracing the implementation, showing their commitment, and providing every resource necessary, the whole organization will sense the importance.  

Implementing change is not an easy task and needs commitment and support from everyone involved. When everyone is committed to the new vision, it can be done, and the benefits will positively aid the business objectives.

Embracing change brings success.

Our Change Management expertise will help to prevent an implementation failure by equipping organizations with the know-how, tools, and strategies to harness the power of your people. 

Services we offer to help with a successful change implementation:

  • Mobilize active and visible executive sponsorship.
  • Establish a Change Management Office (CMO) with dedicated change management resources.
  • Apply a structured change management approach.
  • Develop a communication strategy and execution plan.
  • Engage with and support middle managers and front-line employees.
  • Upskill Executives, Middle Managers & Change Ambassadors.
  • Integrate Change Management with Project Management.
  • Create and anchor agile change processes, technologies, and mindsets.

Thereby removing barriers and accelerating transformations to meet and exceed business objectives.

Get in contact with our expert!

Bart Porthun

Senior Business Consultant