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Why organisations are so poor at Change Management, and what to do about this?

Ever heard of the saying ‘the very personalities that want to be politicians are often the worst personalities to be politicians?’ In other words, for some, their focus is on power, status and personal gains, rather than having a social conscience or focus on the people they are supposed to serve.

Well, the same could be true of those involved in change management! Many senior leaders have brains that are data, analysis and strategy focused. Whilst these are very useful skills in certain settings, when bringing about change, their focus can therefore end up on broad implementation ideas aimed at streamlining costs, disruption of the status quo to ‘shake a few cages’, and to improve the bottom line. 

The assumption here is that people are part of the problem, not part of the solution. This makes sense to these types of brains. As a result, they can risk implementing restructures and systemic changes without consideration of the most important resource they have, namely the people within their organisation.

This then makes sense as to the major challenges experienced by organisations when implementing change management identified by the Harvard Business Review, and the reasons why there is a staggering  70 percent failure rate in America for organisational change projects.

Change oversaturation- Staff feeling overwhelmed with ‘too much change’.
•    Poor communication of change- Staff not understanding the what, the why or the how of the change process.
•    Lack of training for staff to how to implement change strategies- Leading to a change resistant culture and attitude.

So how can organisations bring about effective change management processes?

Our suggestions are that those involved in the change process implementation need to have a diversity of brain strengths, which include not only strategic and analytical intelligence, but also systemic intelligence, emotional intelligence, and creative intelligence. This then allows right from the outset a change process to include key solutions to the above problems:

•    Considering the HOW and WHEN of change to not overwhelm staff.
•    Considering the WHY of change from the perspective of staff to allow a higher chance of buy in.
•    Communication of the WHY, WHAT and HOW of change in a manner that feels collaborative, and has enough clarity that people feel certain about their role, and the personal value for them in the change implementation process.

In order to do this, it therefore imperative that senior leaders develop change project teams where there is a diversity of thinking, which addresses not only the bottom-line outcomes and overall strategy, but the people and realistic process focus too!


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