Today’s business environment is unpredictable, and many companies are forced to change how they operate in order to stay relevant in an ever-evolving landscape. Change management describes the planning, implementation, and processes used by companies to oversee large shifts in how they operate.
People are hardwired to resist change. The idea of change triggers a fear response in employees and customers alike, which can make them subconsciously work against changes that are actually implemented in an effort to make things better.
Often companies are not properly equipped to manage the changes that they aim to implement. As a result, attempts at a smooth transition fail. For a successful changeover, it’s important to avoid these five common change management mistakes.
Many companies lack the resources necessary to properly oversee their organizational changes. Implementing large-scale changes to a company’s processes is a long-term investment. The cost of sustaining those changes can sometimes be greater than the cost of implementing them.
Once the changes are implemented, they have to be tested, refined, and possibly even redesigned. Many companies overlook the costs involved in the later phases, which is one change management mistake that often leads to failure.
Change management can fail when program coordinators focus on results rather than the process. They tend to be in a hurry. They dive straight into the design phase of the changes without conducting proper research into how the changes will affect their existing stakeholders. Executing change in this manner is a likely path to failure.
Your first action should be to identify all of the steps required to prepare your company for a new way of operating. This means analyzing how key roles in governance and decision-making are going to change, encouraging stakeholders to voice their opinions, and providing a timeline that makes proper use of the resources available. A well-designed and thought-out transition period helps to ensure that all the right pieces fall into place.
Organizational changes are sometimes forced on a company due to external influences that are outside of their control. Quality leadership in the management structure must anticipate future needs and plan to make changes well before outside stimuli become defining factors. Reacting to a change rather than planning for it limits the time a company has to make the transition.
A business’s way of doing things becomes its culture. Long-standing companies often take pride in their established policies and procedures. After all, their current culture has brought them success thus far. Changes to this message of consistency can be met with strong resistance.
Management’s ideas for change must stick to the company’s core values as much as possible. If the company has a culture that is ill-defined or broken, then the changes will cause new problems to arise. The stakeholders need a dependable corporate culture to lean on for guidance when parts of the organization’s changes are not easy to understand or implement.
Some leaders think that once the system is in place, the employees will quickly fall in line with it. However, they must remember that it is the staff who are responsible for installing the new system and keeping it running. If, for example, new software is installed, the staff must be trained on how to use it properly. Additionally, management must be open to feedback on how the new system can be improved.
Change is a constant. Change management mistakes result in failures in 70% of all cases. Companies don’t anticipate these areas of risk or fail to address them early on. A professional change management team is able to quickly identify potential pain points and implement practices that promote a successful change.
Corementum offers full-scale organizational change management support. We design, develop, and execute organizational change management communication and training strategies. For more information about how Corementum can assist you with your change management needs, contact us.