Why Change Goes Wrong and What To Do Instead

change generalIt’s suggested that as many as 70% of changes either fail or partly fail to achieve all of the benefits that were anticipated.  In many ways the scale of failing is way below what most would expect.

So why does change go wrong?  I think there are many reasons, including:

  1. There is a lack of agreement as to the need for and what to change.
  2. Leaders who don’t support the change undermine it.
  3. The case for change is not compelling enough
  4. Sufficient time and attention is not given to winning the support of key stakeholders and key influencers.
  5. The scale and complexity of change is underestimated.
  6. There is over optimism around the benefits.
  7. One or several parts of the organisation sabotage the efforts to make change.
  8. The change efforts are not sufficiently resourced financially and non financially.
  9. Change is not properly planned
  10. The people elements are overlooked or insufficient attention is given to them.

If you want to increase your chances of delivering successful change, what should you do instead?

  1. Don’t announce any change at the top until there is consensus on the change.
  2. Make sure that there is a clear case for change that is communicated consistently.
  3. Identify and engage with your key stakeholders and influencers.
  4. Be realistic about what can be achieved and the timescales for achieving the changes.
  5. Be prudent about the benefits and costs
  6. Choose change initiatives wisely.
  7. Don’t try to do too much at the same time or you will burn people out.
  8. Don’t ignore objections and resistance. Deal with it.
  9. Make sure you provide the resources to bring about change
  10. Do change reviews during and post project and learn for the future.

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