Just like any other venture in life, sometimes what you set out to do fails. Failure is a part of life and a part of learning and growing. As we know, learning from failure is where we grow. Change management without proper planning can, and mostly likely will, fail every time, if you are not prepared. Listed below are some of the top reasons why change management initiatives fail.
As with anything you do, there must be a plan. Planning is a crucial part to changing any process within your organization. Your company did not just sprout out of the ground like a weed; it took planning initially just to get it started. Your plan should identify what you are changing and include a plan for managing issues that will arise from your employees. Change is hard and as we know people don’t like it.
Inadequate support from leadership
Major initiatives must have support from the top. Employees need to know the CEO is on board with these changes. If the CEO doesn’t support it or doesn’t care if the change happens, then it will fail. To be successful, communication about the change should come directly from the CEO. The CEO doesn’t need to do all of the work to make the change happen, but the support must be there. Change initiatives can also fail, if the other members of the leadership team do not support the change. It may take longer to happen, but over time, these leaders will be able to provide support to the CEO.
Lack of resources
A lot of things in life would be easier to do, if you had more money or more people. Change can be expensive. Sometimes, the change needed is improved automation. These systems can cost millions of dollars to implement. Many times in organizations, it is clear that something needs to change, but there is not enough people to help make the change. As a leader, it is important to identify needed resources, both capital and human, up front, so the change has the support that is required. Resources should be part of the plan.
Flavor of the month
Oftentimes in organizations, systems or processes change too often and after a while, it starts to feel like the latest change initiative is just the flavor of month. This type of change is destructive to the change process and will almost ensure it fails or at the very least, will lack the amount of power needed to be successful. People who don’t like the initiative will just simply do the bare minimum to support it, all-the-while waiting for the next big change to happen.
Changing to be changing
Keeping with the Jones's is a popular saying, referring to people buying a new car or house when someone else does. The same can be said about change initiatives. Just because your competitor changes a piece of equipment or software, doesn’t mean that your company needs to as well. Change, just to be changing, is also not good. Sometimes, what you have works and doesn’t need to be changed.
The keys to successful changes are communication and making needed changes when they are necessary. Waiting too long could cost you employees, customers or even your business. Change must happen to stay alive and although we say we don’t like it, most of us would rather change than be out of a job.