Why Is Change Management So Difficult?

July 27, 2018 Karli Langner

Change is not easy. No one likes it.

Change is hard because it requires time, a different mindset, a new discipline and an acceptance that the change is going to deliver an even greater benefit than the current environment.

Today’s organizations are not built to change easily; instead they are built for efficiency, designed in a hierarchy with management at the top. Management must be involved and lead the change from the top down in a hierarchy-designed organization. Change not only affects the company, but also its customers, suppliers, even competitors.

Sometimes people don’t think the change occurs fast enough, so they avoid it or complain. But, the change timeline needs to be achievable and not forced. Once the change is achieved, it should be shared so that people can see and experience the benefit.

Decide on a Plan of Action

A comprehensive change management plan allows you to look broadly at the enterprise from the top down and think about the strategies needed to achieve financial objectives. Ask is your organization aligned or does it require change? Look within the organization and question whether you have the right people in the right roles to help lead the change. Do you have the right process for change in the right sequence - what changes first, what changes second and what changes in parallel?

While there are a variety of change management processes, the first step is to understand that there is a need for change within your organization. Are you experienced an increase in raw material costs? Are your customers complaining about product quality? Is the competition outsmarting you consistently? Do you need to upgrade your legacy systems to enter the digital age? Once you determine there is a need for change, then you need to decide what to change first.

Focus on Communication to Keep the Ball Rolling

With a plan in place, communicate to the organization what the change is, how it will be done, the role each person will play in the change and the benefit from the change. Then create a detailed plan of the change processes that will occur, along with the milestones to be met, and share this plan across the enterprise, from the top down. Begin executing the plan, continually updating all employees on the status of the change and the progress of the executed plan. While all this is going on, the process needs to be continually monitored, comparing these measurements to ensure that the plan is performing according to its goals.

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