Change Management - Change History Will Impact Future Success

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

A critical component for any CEO planning a new change is the application of change management, to move the organisation from the current state ‘a’ to the improved state ‘B’. Change management is the proven game changer which will enhance implementation of the new ways of working, behaviour and adoption of the change. The history of previous changes will greatly impact future change and the ability to delivery organisational value and sustainable change.

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A Change History Assessment© (CHA©) can provide organisational insights that can be used to mitigate previous weaknesses and enhance previous successes. Most organisational changes require key elements to be properly resourced and managed in order for change to be successful. These elements range from: People involvement, communications and perceived future success.

“If an organisation has a history of change failure, future success will require a different approach” ~ Peter F Gallagher

1. Employee Involvement: Are employees involved in the change? The simple human truth is that people want (and like) to be involved in issues that affect them or they resist change.


2. Change Readiness: Was the organisation ready for the change? Change experts have emphasised the importance of readiness: The three stage theory of change is commonly referred to as Unfreeze, Change, & Freeze (Credit - Lewin).

“What is the present situation? What are the dangers? And most importantly of all, what shall we do?” ~ Kurt Lewin

3. Organisation Structure: Was the organisation structure in place to support the change? For the change implementation to be successful, employees may need extra support in their day to day role as they divert time and energy to the change.


4. Previous Change Success: Was previous change in your organisation successful? A good indication for future change success is to look back at previous success and then try to identify what will be different.


5. Communication: Was the previous change communicated succinctly, clearly and repeatedly? Communication is one of the biggest single success factors in implementing the change. Our data from a 2015 global Change History Assessment© (CHA©) survey, which included employees from over 25 countries and organisations, provided the lowest score of all ten key elements. If you think you are communicating enough, then multiple this by ten. No matter how well you believe you are doing, the message does not always get through to the target audience.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” ~ Bernard Shaw


6. Organisation Work Load: Was work load considered during organisational change? Work load should be a key consideration when changing existing processes.


7. Sponsor Support: Was there active Sponsor Support for organisational change? Sponsorship is probably the singular most important element in any change journey. Without effective and proactive project sponsorship, the project will eventually fail.


8. Change Approach: Was the change approach soft, with interventions and a resistance strategy? Is it a ‘Tell’ or a ‘Sell’? Compliance changes are usually a ‘Tell’, especially if they are legal/regulatory or safety related, while business improvements are a ‘Sell’ and usually about winning hearts and minds.


9. Change Resources: Were Change Management Resources a part of the change? Success can be enhanced if change agents and a change methodology are put in place to support the change transition.


10. Perceived Future Success: Will future change management be successful? People will assess their organisations future success from previous change experience and knowledge.

To achieve future organisational change management success, analyse previous change history to mitigate previous weakness and enhance future success” ~ Peter F Gallagher