Change Management WalkMe TeamUpdated November 8, 2021

Common Change Management Barriers to Overcome

Common Change Management Barriers to Overcome

It is true that in today’s’ business world change is inevitable. For any organizations to be successful and stay competitive, they must deliberately adjust to change. Research indicates that organizations only do two things, change or stay the same-maintain status quo.

It’s the organizations that change who own the future. Change has been attributed to be one of the major reasons some companies can innovate, whereas others seem to be endlessly stuck in the same old patterns. Change management barriers are often as a result of lack of change readiness, poor leadership skills and very poor communication. Smart and effective managers often take barriers to change into account especially during the planning stage of the change programme.

Managements gurus confirm that change can be a very sensitive process, therefore there is need to involve all the parties at stake so that they can have sufficient capacity and resources to carry out the change, else change management barriers will over-run the change process. Managers agree that enforcing organizational standards for business processes together with instituting group change is not easy, even when the changes at hand are for the overall good. Removing resistance has been cited as a major role for managers.

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This can be done by communicating clear objectives to all the concerned parties. This in effect brings on-board every member of the institution, thereby reducing resistance to the change process. A number of factors have been noted as critical change management barriers.

These includes:

Unknown current state

Organizations often attempts to change without firstly having a thorough examination of their current state. This is effect makes is extremely difficult to transition to a future state as there is no reference point, thereby leading to outright resistance from the employees.

Competitive forces

It’s been noted with a lot of concern that, many organizations are seriously affected by external forces that ends up driving organizational change. These forces come in the form of competition, technological changes, economic forces and market conditions. With these factors at hand, many organizations always opt for change without considering the repercussions therein.


This has been singled out as one of the most serious change management barriers. The “What’s in it for me?” mentality presents a scenario where no one is ready to commit to any new assignment unless there is something in it for them. In order to deal with this, leaders are advised to take time in documenting, presenting and convincing team members of the benefits of the change process. This will encourage continued improvements, and may remain true even if there are small set-backs or hitches along the way.


Rebellion is also considered as one of the change management barriers. Although it is not often encountered, it can be very detrimental. In order to deal with this form of a management barrier, it’s important to defer such matters to the formal organizational charter while sharing the subject therein with all the concerned parties.

Working with a culture of change may have a positive effect on an organization as a whole. It may also support the process of Total Quality Management (TQM), this may end up encouraging employees look forward to the process as the benefits of the change will have been made clear.

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