Change management failure in organizations

When Organizations fail at change management

Is it the absence of Change Management or is it lousy Change Managers?

If you scroll through your LinkedIn or other business feeds, you’ll always be close to an article telling you how organizations are making a complete mess of Change. This article will continue to detail how there was a lack of communication, choice, and involvement, to name a few. At ChangePlan, this got us wondering: if an organization is delivering Change poorly, do they need to hire a Change Manager? Or is it a case of change management failure?

Let’s first contemplate an organization with no Change Managers. Can they deliver Change well without change professionals? 

Yes, they can. After all, the dedicated Change Professional is a relatively new area of expertise. Companies have implemented new IT systems without change managers in the past. But for Change to be implemented without the help of a Change professional, Change Management must be on the agenda, and the supporting team members must be given time to consider the Change journey. Project managers and Subject Matter Experts will have the expertise to talk to stakeholders, assess the change impact, and formulate a communications and training schedule, granted, not with the finesse of a change professional. Still, their most significant challenges will often be operational bandwidth. A busy PM is often too busy keeping everything to scope, schedule, and budget, and communication becomes an afterthought. Leaders can communicate upcoming changes downstream, but the leader’s talking point one-pagers crafted by the Change professionals certainly make it easier to keep aligned with the strategy. The enthusiastic, well-prepped tribe of Change Champions keep their eyes and ears on the ground and manage resistance in an effective feedback loop.

If an organization carefully considers the customer journey and designs the Change with all stakeholders in mind, it can successfully deliver Change without dedicated professionals. Change Management is not rocket science. Others can carry out many tasks, but they don’t have time or the proper focus, and change management is not prioritized. A dedicated (or fractional) resource keeps it on the agenda.

So, although organizations could deliver change well, they will always benefit from change professionals. 

But what about organizations with change managers? Can they still mess up Change delivery?

Absolutely! But, in most cases, it’s not the fault of the change practitioner. The skilled Change practitioner acts like the director in a movie. Her job is to bring out the best in the rest of her team. They might create videos where their sponsor appears knowledgeable and empathetic. They’ll make the technologists look like magicians by creating bite-size training in layperson’s terms to drive adoption, making it easy for everyone to use the new system. Their well-thought-out communication schedule keeps everyone involved and informed. Well, that’s what effective Change Managers do!  

There will always be obstacles.

There’s no budget for training. You can’t send a survey. People are too busy to spend time as Change Champions. And our favorite, “It’s not a big change, it’s just a lift and shift project“.

If a Change professional cannot influence leaders, if they don’t have the support of the sponsor, and the staff are not given time to digest the Change, the most accomplished Change professional will fail. 

Great Change can be delivered in any organization when it is high on the agenda.

The ChangePlan platform is used by organizations both with and without a dedicated change team. By following the step-by-step framework, anyone can deliver an organized and meaningful change plan that can be utilized by their entire stakeholder group. 

If you’d like to see how ChangePlan can elevate your team’s capabilities, book a demo with our team here


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