Examples of Change Management Failure

The change management failure of large organizations to adapt to any changing circumstances is one of the most fundamental puzzles in the business world. Sometimes, a disruptive technology like digital imaging can come along and wipe out the entire business industry. However, the sources of failure are actually more avoidable and prosaic.

This means that a failure for implementation of technologies, which have already been designed, a complacent attitude towards a new competitor(s), and an arrogant disregard for the changing customer demands.

Examples of Change Management Failure

1. A Disenfranchised Frontline

The initial insights into the organizational changes usually come from the individuals in the frontline of your business. These include those developers mostly working with third parties, salespeople, and purchasing managers among others. However, their voice, if it happens to be raised at all, basically, is drowned out including all the rest clamoring for the executive attention. The best solution in this case is far from easy, but some are technology-based systems for sharing all frontline information faster with those at the top management levels and informal networks as well as cross cutting task forces created to address certain opportunities and threats.

2. Lack of Diversity

When a company’s top executives are all fins of similar background and age can hamper their ability to make right decision in light of their changing organizational environment. Most of us, of course, are more comfortable working with individuals with similar worldviews and because of that; we end up with unnecessary inevitable blind spots. If this change management failure happens, the best solution is to hire individuals with different frames of references from those already existing in your system. In addition, you can look for a way to bring to a similar point of view for discussion.

3. Old and Narrow Metrics

Obviously, what gets measured is done, but the majority of individuals fail to refresh their choices of measures more often enough and they end up with numerous blind spots. For example, Nokia never thought of Google and Apple as their big competitors until they became too late. The best solution in this case, is to define your right and relevant market segment as widely as possible to ensure that your market share is at its best level. In addition, measure your customer behaviors very keenly to determine whether they are defecting or not, to whom and why.

4. Ossified Management Process

In large organizations, things are done through management process. These include performance management, planning and budgeting, and succession planning just to mention a few. These processes typically create simplicity and order and can also become self-reinforcing and entrenched.

5. Intolerance of Failure

The more successful and bigger an organization becomes, the more risk-averse that organization becomes. The executives may demand innovative new products or services and expect all of them to succeed. This attitude causes caution and rigidity. To end this, the best thing to do is to find the best ways of developing a culture, which encourages trial and error methods. To mention, Netflix, Amazon, and Google are some great examples.

In all such cases, the biggest responsibility for change management failure rests with the executives of a company, but if there is a need to avoid such failures, the CEO themselves can’t do it on their own.

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Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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