Top 20+ change management mistakes to avoid


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  • Very helpful guide
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  • Fantastic. I would add my most important mistake and that is for the external change agent not to be passionate about helping the internal change agent transform within the context of facilitation of enterprise wide change journey.
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  • This is now my pocket guide to Change Management. Great points. Thanks so much for sharing.
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  • Excellent 20 points ...very apt and very true.....have had same experience and a living through one....especially when you advise a family managed enterprise with the Promoter himself being the CEO and not ready to listen to good advise
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Top 20+ change management mistakes to avoid

  1. 1. Top 20+ change management mistakes to avoid
  2. 2. Mistake - #1 - Starting too late • Pressure to act quickly undermines values and culture • Leaders take drastic steps quickly with no time to explore alternatives • Values about participation, involvement, or concern for people disappear • Cynicism grows 18 October 2014 2
  3. 3. Mistake - #2 - No winning strategy • The best change program in the world won’t do any good if your organisation doesn’t have a strategy for getting where it wants to go 18 October 2014 3
  4. 4. Mistake - #3 - Fanfare • All too often organizations announce big changes and new programs with big events and fanfare, but then very little actually happens • The initial energy and enthusiasm fades, specific changes are never identified let alone implemented, results aren’t realized, managers don’t adjust, or maybe something even better comes along leading to a new “launch” with new fanfare 18 October 2014 4
  5. 5. Mistake - #4 - Employees hear it from the media first • Journalists dig for information, and items can run in the media before employees hear about them • Middle managers look dumb and uninformed • Employees feel insulted and left out 18 October 2014 5
  6. 6. Mistake - #5 - Failure to make a compelling and urgent case for change • Failure to create a strong sense of urgency causes a change movement to lose momentum before it gets a chance to start • Establishing a true sense of urgency without creating an emergency is the first objective achieved to overcome the routine of daily business 18 October 2014 6
  7. 7. Mistake - #6 - Only focusing on the rational elements • Organizational change will be extremely difficult in most cases if managers rely only on making a case to the rational, analytical, problem-solving side of the brain • Instead, they must also make an emotional case for change and align the rational and emotional elements of the appeal • Before you can get buy-in, people need to feel the problem 18 October 2014 7
  8. 8. Mistake - #7 - Not dealing proactively with resistance • Managing resistance to change is challenging and it’s not possible to be aware of all sources of resistance to change • Expecting that there will be resistance to change and being prepared to manage it is a proactive step • It’s far better to anticipate objections than to spend your time putting out fires, and knowing how to overcome resistance to change is a vital part of any change management plan 18 October 2014 8
  9. 9. Mistake - #7 - Not dealing proactively with resistance 18 October 2014 9
  10. 10. Mistake - #8 - everyone’s reaction will be even remotely like yours • One of the biggest mistakes you can make in initiating major company changes is to expect that everyone’s reaction will be even remotely like yours. • Regardless of the catalyst for the change, it will be your employees who determine whether it successfully achieves its desired outcome. • Organizations don’t change . People do – or they don’t. 18 October 2014 10
  11. 11. Mistake - #9 - Lack of communication • Change management communications need to be targeted to each segment of the workforce, and delivered in a two-way fashion that allows people to make sense of the change subjectively 18 October 2014 11
  12. 12. Mistake - #10 - Not enough leadership • To many leaders focus too much on management and too little on leadership 18 October 2014 12
  13. 13. Mistake - #11 - Ignoring current corporate culture • All change in organisations is challenging, but perhaps the most daunting is changing culture • When people in an organization realize and recognize that their current organisational culture needs to transform to support the organisation’s success and progress, change can occur. 18 October 2014 13
  14. 14. Mistake - #11 - Ignoring current corporate culture Do not under-estimate the status quo culture • What are the values of the current culture and will they need to change to ensure success? Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner 18 October 2014 14
  15. 15. Mistake - #12- Failure to understand and shape the informal organization • Organizations usually have networks and coalitions of people that are not visible on the formal organization chart. These networks and coalitions help shape opinion • They can either accelerate or retard change. Ignoring or circumventing these groups can result in actual resistance 18 October 2014 15
  16. 16. Mistake - #13 - Not involving the employees • Leaders must actively involve the people most affected by the change in its implementation • This will help ensure employees at all levels of the organization embrace the proposed changes 18 October 2014 16
  17. 17. Mistake - #14 - Over-reliance on structure and systems to change behavior • Structural and systems changes help create a new context and orientation. And they have the surface appeal of being visible and fast • But people do not become different just because you put them in a new context • Structures and systems, by themselves, don’t change people’s behavior or give them new skills 18 October 2014 17
  18. 18. Mistake - #15 - Failure to distinguish between decision-driven and behavior dependent change • Getting people to change their behavior requires a different mindset and a different set of leadership skills than making decisions about strategy 18 October 2014 18
  19. 19. Mistake - #16 - Lack of skills and resources • Change does not happen through goals and exhortation alone. Like any business operation, It also calls for the right skills and resources • Organizations often simply fail to commit the necessary time, people, and resources to making change work • Paradoxically, successful behavior change often demands the very skills the change Is trying to create 18 October 2014 19
  20. 20. Mistake - #17 - Focusing only on the long term • Large-scale organizational change is a long process • Break down your vision into smaller short-term goals, and communicate short-term successes at each opportunity 18 October 2014 20
  21. 21. Mistake - #18 - Failing to plan small successive successes • An important part of sticking to the vision is to create opportunities to achieve smaller goals along the way • These small successes will not only work directly toward achieving the desired change, but will create positive feelings of accomplishment and the drive to pursue the next goal 18 October 2014 21
  22. 22. Mistake - #19 - Using the wrong indicators to measure progress • When a major change effort gets under way, executives often are scared off by the symptoms of their success • Don’t panic if you see problems vis-à-vis morale, job stress, loyalty, the trust level or job satisfaction • It could be proof that you’re doing precisely the right things 18 October 2014 22
  23. 23. Mistake - #20 - Assuming that change is complete once initial goals are achieved • If you declare victory too soon, the focus will be taken away from your efforts, and all traces of your hard work could soon disappear • Successful companies consistently re-evaluate their change efforts to determine where other areas can be improved, such as employee development and retention, new projects and new systems and structures 18 October 2014 23
  24. 24. Mistake - #21 - Excessively open-ended process • Achieving fundamental change in an organization is at least a 2 to 3 year process • But organizations often run out of energy or lose focus after 9 to 15 months 18 October 2014 24
  25. 25. Good luck © Torben Rick Blog