5 Mistakes To Avoid When Looking To Make Change In Organisations

Every organisation will have to make changes from time to time and the public and not for profit sector is no exception.

The problem is the words change and improvement are banded about in a way that makes it seem that delivering major change is easy.  While change is happening, there is a big difference between the day to day routine change and something more significant.

If you are going to increase the chances of making change, there are many pitfalls you have to be alert to.  So what are some of those mistakes to avoid when looking to make change in
change generalorganisations?


I have lost count of the number of times I have heard senior people say that there is a need to change and improve, to find new ways of working and the like.  Now I can probably make a bit of a guess around what that means.  On the other hand for the majority it probably just creates confusion and uncertainty.

Before you start talking about change, make sure there is clarity in your message.


It’s time to make change.  You announce it and hey presto everyone is on board.  Dream on.  Making an announcement and just expecting people to get on board is just not going to happen.

You need to be careful about how you let people know.


You see this a lot in the public sector.  In the NHS for example you have hundreds of thousands of highly skilled and knowledgeable people.  Trying to impose change on this group is always going to be an uphill struggle.  Even if you achieve change short term it is unlikely to stand the test of time.

Rather than imposing look for ways of involving those with the expert knowledge and insight in order to create change that is likely to be adopted and stand the test of time.

Option Bias

We all probably understand that if we are serious about impactful change we will really look at all the options.

Trouble is there is a tendency to let option bias take over.  By that I mean deciding what you want to do and then building the case to justify it.

Looking at options for change in a more systematic way is much more likely to result in a better outcome.

Over Optimism

Any significant change is going to take time to deliver.  When many leaders and leadership teams get this at a conceptual level, fewer are able to accept this in practice.

You clearly don’t want change to stall and at the same time coming up with wildly over the top expectations is just likely to result in disappointment and de-motivation of others around you.

Goals and Achievements work in partnership with public and not for profit organisations to deliver change and improvement