What are the change management issues? In most instances, change management initiatives fail.
The Journal of Change Management in 2002 stated, “Change initiatives crucial to organisational success fail 70% of the time.”
There are many studies which suggest similar statistics. So what change management issues cause this high rate of failure? Kotter, in his book, ‘Force for Change: How Leadership Differs from Management’, lists the following points as the main reasons why change fails:
The bottom line is, change management issues arise because you are dealing with people, and change in people. We all have our own beliefs and values, and we all have to understand change and believe in this. If we don’t see the benefit and vision, then we will simply not want to change and will create natural barriers.
The greater the number of people who don’t want to change, the greater the chance of failure. – Communication, therefore, is crucial. Communicating the vision is doubly imperative.
Change comes from effectively leading cultural change in people. Using a change management plan is crucial, but more importantly, that change management plan must also capture a transition plan.
Most practitioners concentrate solely on developing a Change Management plan and not on the transition plan within the same document. Here are the differences:
•A change management plan – Focuses on the process of change and the tasks needed to successfully complete the project. It starts with the end in mind and works back.
•The Transition plan – focuses on people and culture change, starting on the current culture and looks at how to transition into the new desired state.
Failure to focus on the cultural change side creates a high degree of failure and adds to the list of change management issues in organisational development.
Change cannot be enforced, nor can it be sold. It has to be communicated, nurtured and developed until those affected believe in it and drive it themselves. Not everyone will, but the majority should, given the right environment, and it’s the majority that you want on board to drive the new ways of working and beliefs that will support change.