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Organisational Change Implementation Challenges

"There are many challenges that organisations consistently face before implementing change, such as leadership alignment, normal day-to-day operations, and organisation change capability"

Lots of statistics show organisational change and transformations failing to deliver their intended benefits. You can argue about the true percentage of success, but the fact is that many organisations do not achieve full benefits realisation, and in many cases, they fail to attain a return on investment (ROI). Equally unacceptable to shareholders is that the vision is not realised, meaning the organisation’s strategy has not been executed. Even when the organisation and its leadership team agree the changes are necessary for the future of the organisation, they still face a number of consistent and specific challenges).

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Challenges and barriers can be listed into two main categories:

Consistent Challenges Throughout Change Implementation:

  • Normal Day-to-Day Operations: Balancing urgent daily operational activities that need to be completed against important strategic change management activities.

  • Leadership: Leaders not fully supporting the change in terms of their responsibilities.

  • Organisation Change Capability: Organisations constantly facing change recognise they need to use internal capabilities and have a standard approach.

Specific Challenges Throughout Change Implementation:

  • Too Many Change Initiatives: Not enough capacity to deliver ongoing and new change programmes.

  • Inactive or Invisible Sponsorship: Lack of visible support usually leads to change failure.

  • Poor Previous Change History: This increases the likelihood of repeating past mistakes.

  • No Detailed Project Change Plan: Implementing change with only a communication plan and not aligning it to the master project plan.

  • Poor Communication: Lack of engagement and communication.

  • Ignoring Change Readiness Input: If the change readiness assessment indicates the organisation is not ready then the change should not be implemented.

  • Thinking there is No Resistance: There will always be resistance even if it is not overt!

  • Ignoring the Importance of Behaviours: If you do not change employee behaviour, you will not get organisational change.

  • Thinking Employees will Adopt the Change: Employees will need to be supported throughout the change by the leadership team, so adoption is maximised.

  • Not Transferring Ownership: Not closing the change properly by using a structured process to ensure sustainment and benefits delivery.

This blog is based on my book: Change Management Handbook - Leadership of Change Volume 3

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

For further reading please visit our websites:

Leadership of Change®

Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK) Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, C, D & E

Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK), Leadership of Change® Body of Knowledge, Peter F Gallagher, Change Management Books, Leadership of Change Volumes 1 2 3 A B C 4 5 6 7, Change Management Fables, Change Management Pocket Guide, Change Management Handbook, Change Management Gamification, Change Management Adoption, Change Management Behaviour, Change Management Leadership, Change Management Sponsorship,

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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 (2022-2021-2020) by Thinkers360.

Ranked #2 Business Strategy Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (Dec 2020) by Thinkers360. Tunes

Ranked #2 Leadership Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Leadership (Aug 2020) 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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