7 Reasons Why Organisational Change Fails
Why does organisational failure occur at such a high rate?
What can you do to avoid it?
1. Lack of Communication
No, it’s not that management fails to communicate what the change is or what it should look like, but rather, they fail to communicate why the change is needed. The number one reason why organisational failure occurs is because the case for making a change is not adequately articulated to the troops, and therefore, is never fully embraced. In fact, a recent study by Forbes found that only 40% of front-line supervisors felt they were “getting the message” about the reasons behind major organisational shake-ups, which leaves at least 60% of employees in the dark at best.
The other way that management tends to drop the ball insofar as communication goes is that, even if the reason for the change is explained, the actual process of communicating the desired change is not done in a way that people can readily comprehend; for instance:
- Corporate mumbo jumbo may be used in place of actual words that mean something.
- Statistics and numbers that folks don’t really get are offered instead of clear reasons and a vision.
- Fear is used instead of a compelling, optimistic, positive path.
In this regard, it may help to think about a presidential campaign. It is axiomatic in politics that a clear, positive, uniting vision for the future will almost always trump a campaign based on fear-mongering, alienation, and negativity.
So too your office.
If you articulate a clear, positive vision for the future and explain why that change is necessary, the chances are much higher that your desired change will be embraced.
2. Differing Agendas
Poor communication will have many children. One of those will be staff members who resist the change due to ego and self-interest. Without a full understanding of why a change is needed, some employees will be threatened by it and thus will resist it out of perceived self-interest; they need to protect their little fiefdom.
Another problem of poor communication are those employees who will feel alienated or excluded. If, for instance, the change is a top-down dictate where the team had no real chance to give their input, the result will likely be people who don’t own the change and therefore resist it.
What is a business? It is a group of people united to create a desired, profitable result. Who is tasked with implementing a change in that business? Yep, those same people.
Change is not easy for most folks. If you want your team to buy into a change, then you need to be cognizant of that fact and take it into account in two ways:
- First, to the extent possible, understand how important it is to involve, early on, those who will be asked to implement the change. Get their thoughts and feedback.
- Second, be sensitive to the fact that change is challenging and that it will cause individual, personal stress.
4. A Lack of Leadership
It is incumbent upon management to create an atmosphere where the troops buy into the new corporate vision. But if employees feel alienated or otherwise don’t trust their higher-ups, getting them to buy into any new direction will be quite difficult.
5. Poor Planning
Changing the direction of an organisation requires forethought. If the change is entered into willy-nilly, or too quickly, or without a proper plan, a likely outcome will be a false start, resistance, and/or eventual failure. Learn more about how workplace strategy assists organisational change http://aspectinteriors.com.au/workplace-strategy/
6. Lack of Commitment
If you really want to create a change in your organisation, there has to be a 100% commitment on the part of the leadership. Once you have that, the same commitment should be expected of everyone in the business. The desired change must be considered a rule, not an option.
7. Poor Processes
Finally, success will require that you give your team a means and process for implementing the desired change; otherwise, their natural reaction to resist will persist.
Author Rick Maurer puts it this way: Most people react to change by putting up a wall of protection. It is the job of the leader in an organisation to engage with those people so they truly understand why the change is needed. Learn more about about our project management processes that make for a seamless project http://aspectinteriors.com.au/client-care/
This is an excerpt from a post by Steve Strauss which was first published on TinyPulse.