Change Is Good
If change is good, why is change so difficult to accept? According to John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems, "If businesses fail to adapt their entire company to accommodate new technologies, at least 40% of them will not survive in the next ten years."
Prosci's research on best practices in change management has identified several common obstacles to success, which include:
Lack of executive support and active sponsorship.
Ineffective communication that leads to misalignment.
Resistance caused by a lack of buy-in and support for proposed solutions.
Limited knowledge and resources for managing change.
A culture and attitude that resists change.
Indeed, obstacles to change will present themselves, but each obstacle can be addressed and overcome, resulting in a positive and successful change initiative.
Lack of executive support and active sponsorship Many executives resist change because they fail to recognize its benefits and may not allocate the necessary budget. They often feel pressured, overwhelmed, and burnt out, and if their business is functioning adequately, they see no reason to change.
To overcome this, proposed changes should be thoroughly explained to business leaders, providing them with a vision of the potential benefits for the company. The leadership team's enthusiasm, buy-in, and understanding are crucial to encouraging the rest of the organization to embrace the change. They should take on the role of sponsors and lead the change initiative with confidence.
Ineffective communication that leads to misalignment Effective communication between leaders and their teams is essential for success. Through clear and continuous communication, leaders can articulate the need for change, set expectations, and highlight the positive aspects of the transformation. Building trust and ensuring alignment is key to gaining team members' confidence. Leaders should drive change and foster innovation.
Resistance caused by a lack of buy-in and support for proposed solutions Change can be intimidating, and people often cling to their established ways of doing things. Asking team members to abandon their familiar routines and embrace something new can create resistance, fear, frustration, and anxiety if not properly explained and understood.
Sponsors must demonstrate that the change is intended to improve processes and enhance the team's performance, motivating them to accept and support the change. McKinsey & Company reports that 70% of change programs fail to achieve their goals due to employee resistance and lack of management support.
Limited knowledge and resources for managing change Both team members and the organization should seek to enhance their knowledge of change management. Preparing the organization for change implementation requires understanding the current state and how to transition to the desired future state. It is essential to have a clear vision, a realistic plan with strategic goals, and a system to measure success.
Delegation of change-related tasks and accounting for potential obstacles during implementation are crucial. Empowering employees and involving them fully in the change process is vital. Constantly reminding them of the vision and the reasons behind the change will help maintain their engagement.
A culture and attitude that resists change Resistance to change within an organization's culture is unavoidable. Employees may be attached to their current processes and find comfort in them. When implementing new changes, it is important to empower employees, focus on their transitions, and consistently remind them of the benefits.
Efforts should be made to prevent reverting to the prior state, and recognition, rewards, and promotions can serve as incentives to encourage acceptance and engagement with the recent changes.
At MSS Business Transformation Advisory (MSSBTA), we firmly believe that change is good. If you require expertise in change management, our consulting services offer experienced professionals who can help your leadership and team members succeed and build confidence, ensuring that new initiatives are well understood. We approach the industry with a positive mindset, embracing and accepting the necessary changes to help you achieve success.