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Change Adoption - Aligning the Employee and Organisation

Achieving change adoption in a major organisation through change or transformation has mixed success, and the return on investment (ROI) benefits are not always realised. The main objective of any change project is to deliver improved future performance by facilitating and enabling step improvement from the current, 'a' state to the future improved 'B' state. Achieving change adoption in a major organisation through change or transformation has mixed success, and the ROI benefits are not always realised. The main objective of any change project is to deliver improved future performance by facilitating and enabling step improvement from the current 'a' state to the future improved 'B' state. The improved future “B” state is about getting change adoption. It is about providing the employees with new skills, behaviours, and motivation so they are aligned with the organisation’s processes, systems, and leadership*. Leadership and sponsorship are key enablers to change success, articulating why the change is necessary and how it links to the strategy. Communication is one of the key levers to successful change adoption. It is at the heart of successful change, it acts like the blood in our bodies, but instead of supplying vital oxygen and nutrients, communication supplies information and motivation that are imperative for successful change.

Change Adoption, "For Change Adoption to be successful, leadership need to ensure employees are supported to develop the new skills, behaviours and motivation that delivers improved future organisation performance” ~ Peter F Gallagher, a2B AUILM, a2B AUILM Employee adoption model, a2B5R® Employee Behavioural Model, a2B5R, a2BCMF, a2B AUILM Peter F Gallagher Author of “The Leadership of Change”, The Leadership of Change – volume 1, The Leadership of Change Fables, #LeadershipOfChange, Enabling the leadership of change,, a2B Advisory Consulting, www.a2B.consuling, Peter F Gallagher,, Peter F Gallagher Speaker, If you do not change employee mindset and behaviour, you will not get organisational change" ~ Peter F Gallagher, #LeadershipOfChange, Peter F Gallagher Change Management Expert, Peter F Gallagher London & Edinburgh, Global Speaker, Peter F Gallagher London & Edinburgh, Change Consultants London & EdinburghTraining, Change Improvement, Enabling step improvement, Sarah L Gallagher, Change Management, Change Management Framework, a2BBIS, [Author: Peter F Gallagher], +44 75 4147 2955, +44 75 4401 2510,, London office: Kemp House, 152 - 160 City Road, London, EC1V 2NX, Edinburgh Office: 8/1 East Suffolk Road, Darroch House, Edinburgh, EH16 5PL, Change Management Practitioner Training, Change Management Sponsorship Training, , Business Improvement Consultants London & Edinburgh, Lean Consultants London & Edinburgh, Training Certification London & Edinburgh, Training Certification, Training Accreditation,


The most important element of a successful organisation is its people. Employees are an organisation’s key asset and offer a core competitive advantage. Without them adopting the change, the organisation will not improve or make a return on their investment (ROI). Employees are the customer interface to deliver client value. Organisations that actively manage and nurture their client relationships are creating greater value for their shareholders. Change success will be accelerated by ensuring employees understand the strategy, have the right leadership, and have the new skills, behaviours, and motivation.

~ New Skills: Developing new skills and competencies is critical if employees are to carry out their new or modified roles using company processes and systems. The organisation must allocate a training budget that covers training needs analysis (TNA), training design, delivery, coaching, and assessment to ensure the required skills and competencies are in place.

~ New Behaviours: A few new critical behaviours should be outlined early in the project as part of the change definition. It is vital that the sponsors, leaders, and management visibly model these new behaviours themselves, right from the start of the project. They should articulate the connections between new behaviours and organisational success to the employees so they become part of the new culture and DNA of every employee.

~ Motivation: With new skills and behaviours defined, the final part is to check that the employees are motivated to ensure they are positively focused on doing their part to improve organisation performance. The organisation should put in place rewards for positive performance, cascading from the balanced scorecard through to the employee’s annual personal performance plan. Provisions should be made to ensure any remaining resistance is addressed appropriately with timely interventions to ensure success.

“For Change Adoption to be successful leadership need to ensure employees are supported to develop the new skills, behaviours and motivation that delivers improved future organisation performance”

Effective and proactive sponsorship is one of the most important elements in project success and change adoption. In fact, without sponsorship, the change project will eventually fail. There are three key elements to support change success: ‘Say’, ‘Support’ and ‘Sustain’.

~ Say: Sponsorship starts with providing vocal support for the change. The ‘Say’ is the foundation and is all about communicating the business case for the change to all affected stakeholders, with a special focus on the employees to ensure change adoption.

~ Support: Having built the foundation of communication, ‘Support’ builds on the ‘Say’, and it is in this element that the sponsor starts to actively and overtly support the change. The sponsor’s role is to ensure there is a budget to develop the new skills and competencies of the employees.

~ Sustain: Recognise and reward those who adopt new skills and behaviours, as well as ensure the employees remain motivated. Sponsors should also monitor change adoption across the organisation and perform the difficult task of intervening when the change is not being adopted.


Communication is one of the key levers to deliver successful Change Adoption. Communication should be a continuous process throughout the change and should start by providing an understanding into the business case for change and how it is aligned to the vision, mission and objectives. It is difficult to over communicate but a lack of communication breeds uncertainty, rumours, suspicion and resentment. Effective communication will use multiple channels, it will provide information quickly with clarity and will have a feedback loop that allows time for people to ask questions, request clarification and provide input. Communication should motivate and align employee roles with the change. Employees should feel valued, listened to, an important part of a cohesive team working towards a change common goal. These highly motivated employees will then be empowered and understand how their role delivers customer requirements and organisation success.


Leadership is a fundamental element in business success, and achieving organisational change adoption is no different. Leaders are in a position of influence in the organisation, and employees will expect them to take responsibility for driving the change. Leaders articulate and communicate the vision, the business case, the strategy, what success looks like, and emulate the new required behaviours. They should be the key change agents of the organisation, preparing and enthusing their employees for change. They should work closely with the change team and sponsor, constantly communicating the change through its implementation. Like the sponsor, they should recognise and reward positive behaviour but also intervene if there is resistance.


Strong business results can be achieved by aligning people, processes, and systems, and this should be a focus area of the change management approach. A business process is a collection of related, structured activities, steps, or tasks that produce a specific organisational goal, service, or product for a client or customer. Clearly defined processes allow organisations to produce quality work and products consistently, which should increase customer satisfaction and profits. Inversely, processes with variation and waste cause customer complaints due to poor product quality or bad service. In turn, this reduces profit, wastes resources, and creates other knock on effects. Having capable, efficient processes operated by competent people should be a change goal. Aligned employees and processes working in unison require continuous process improvement, clearly documented processes with KPIs, and fully trained, competent operators.


There are many ways of describing organisational systems. For the purposes of change adoption within an organisation, it is an organised, purposeful structure that consists of interrelated and interdependent elements. These elements (which vary from organisation to organisation) repeatedly influence one another, either directly or indirectly, to maintain their activity and the existence of the system to achieve their goal. These systems have inputs (employees, resources, technologies, etc.), processes (see above), and outputs. The outputs will be tangible results produced by the processes within the system, such as a specific organisational goal, service, or product. Other outputs could be changes in employee roles, groups, or functions. For change adoption to be successful, no change can be implemented in isolation, as it will have an impact on the elements of the overall system in some way.

To ensure change adoption and ensure that the project provides ROI benefits and improved operating performance, a structured approach to change should be embraced. A structured change management framework will support managed change and align the employee and the organisation. From the start, the framework can ensure the change programme and projects are aligned to strategy, through to change adoption. This will sustain the change in the future in an in an improved 'B' state, ensuring ROI.

*Employee Processes Systems Leadership (EPSL): Four fundamental foundational elements that must be considered during organisational change or transformation implementation. Not fully focusing on all the elements will limit success, employee adoption, sustainability and the organisation's return on investment.


Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®.

For further information please visit our websites:

Peter F Gallagher, change management body of knowledge (CMBoK), Leadership of change, change management books, change management volumes, change management, change management models, change management gurus, change management experts, change management global thought leaders, change management influencers, change management books, change management Leadership, change management keynote speakers,

Peter F Gallagher is a Change Management Global Thought Leader, Guru, Expert, International Speaker, Author and Leadership Alignment Coach.

Listed #1 by leadersHum Top 40 Change Management Gurus You Should Follow in 2022 (Mar 2022).

Ranked #1 Change Management Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (2023-2022-2021-2020) by Thinkers360.

Listed #15 in the “Top 30” for Global Gurus Leadership (2024) by Global Gurus.

Ranked #1 Business Strategy Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Business Strategy (2022) by Thinkers360.

Ranked #6 Leadership Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Leadership (April 2024) by Thinkers360.

Business Book Ranking

Change Management Behaviour - Leadership of Change® Volume 6, listed among the 50 Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2022.

Change Management Adoption - Leadership of Change® Volume 5, listed among year-to-date’s (Jul 2021) most popular books on business and technology from Thinkers360 member thought leaders.

Change Management Handbook - Leadership of Change® Volume 3, listed among the 50 Business and Technology Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2021.

Change Management Pocket Guide - Leadership of Change® Volume 2, ranked within the top 50 Business and Technology Books (Jan 2020) from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders.



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