Why is change management failing in many organizations?


Change management is a vital component of many companies’ strategies to ensure business growth and adaptability to new market conditions.

However, it is not only a significant challenge to carry out these initiatives in the first place, maintaining momentum over the long term is also difficult.

Recent research from Towers Watson found senior executives reported problems in both areas. In fact, there was only a 55 per cent initial success rate on change management projects and just 25 per cent of these continued to perform over time.

Brad Messinger, a senior change management consultant at Towers Watson, stated that “most companies” struggle with effecting change.

“The organizations that are able to sustain change over time are those that focus on the fundamentals that we know drive successful change: communication, training, leadership engagement and measurement,” he commented.

“And despite nearly uniform acceptance that these are the key drivers of change, the companies that aren’t good at them aren’t getting any better.”

Poor leadership development is another contributing factor noted by survey respondents as hampering change management. Many employees complained leaders are ill-prepared to instigate new policies and highlighted sub-optimal alignment between change strategies and talent management.

“To prepare managers for their role as successful change leaders, companies must ensure that they focus on informing, engaging and enabling their employees,” said Kathryn Yates, global leader of communication consulting at Towers Watson.

Executives looking to improve corporate strategy alignment and encourage better collaboration between senior managers and employees could benefit from investing in business strategy software.

Cloud-based platforms such as StrategyBlocks use intuitive dashboards that clearly communicate multiple strategies, as well as offering features that facilitate the measurement of progress. This ensures new initiatives are not only prosperous when first implemented, they can also be tracked and monitored to help maintain ongoing success.