Why change management?
Why not just implement change without a costly change management program?
After all, switching to a new software platform, a new business process, or a new IT service can’t be that difficult…
You may have heard this question before. Or you may be asking this question yourself.
It is a reasonable question to ask.
After all, change management is an investment above and beyond mere implementation.
Do You Really Need Change Management?
It may be tempting to simply:
- Deploy a new software platform
- Restructure a department
- Institute a new set of business processes
- Or implement another change
…without adding on a program of “change management.”
However, there are very, very good reasons to manage your change initiative.
For starters, research has shown that:
- Around 70% of change efforts fail, which is bad enough
- Employees usually resist change, which can cause initiatives to fall short or fail entirely
- Failed digital transformation – one of the most common causes of change today – negatively impacts revenue
On the other hand, the advantages of a good change management program are manifold.
10 Answers to the Question, “Why Change Management?”
Here are a few reasons why you should definitely manage your change efforts:
Change management ROI can come in many forms.
Cost savings from a cloud SaaS platform … the formation of a new department … an improved IT request fulfillment workflow … more productive employees. Just to name a few.
Usually, there’s a specific problem each change program is solving. And specific ROI objectives it hopes to meet.
Change management will ensure that the program meets its objectives and gets the best results possible.
2. Companies that don’t change fall behind
Resistance against change is common.
The reasons for this resistance vary – some fear change, others feel it is too risky.
Regardless of the reasons, today’s economy is built on change. And only those companies that do change will keep up with the curve.
A quick look at the history of the internet will reveal a plethora of companies that didn’t make it.
3. Most change efforts fail, and change management increases success rates
As mentioned at the outset, barriers to change are steep. And 70% of change initiatives fail. Change management is a systematic approach to change, increasing the chances of success and boosting outcomes across the board.
Many businesses hesitate over change management because it is an investment. And every investment carries risk.
But the costs of failure are high.
It’s much riskier to attempt change without a sophisticated, well-managed program.
4. Change drives today’s competitive economy, helping adapters keep up and stay ahead
Today’s savvy businesses recognize that adaptation and innovation are vital to success. Competition is stiff, and digital technology makes it stiffer.
In such a competitive environment, change management is a survival skill.
Companies who really learn to innovate can gain a competitive advantage, beating the curve and the competition.
5. Better employee productivity
Change management research shows that sophisticated, excellent change programs enhance employee productivity.
Higher output levels, of course, translate into a higher ROI for that program and the business.
And, on a personal level, it helps each employee enhance their skillset.
6. Shorter training and onboarding
Change management is tasked with optimizing program effectiveness.
One result of this – relevant, cost-effective training.
Collateral benefits include saved training costs and decreased employee time-to-productivity.
7. Connected, engaged employees
Another result of a well-managed change program is boosted employee morale and motivation.
Consequently, they’ll be more engaged with their work. They’ll be more connected to the company mission.
And they’ll be more supportive of their departments, their managers, and the company as a whole.
If an organization’s leadership attempts to force change on its employees, then they should expect resistance.
The results of poorly managed – or completely non-managed – change can spell high turnover, umet objectives, or even reverting to the old ways of doing things.
8. Creates a go-to system for change
Studies have shown that organizational change can cause stress, which can have its own negative consequences.
Reducing this and other negative impacts is another reason to implement structured change management.
Structured programs rely on frameworks, models, maps, and other well-established systems that reduce uncertainty, fear, and stress.
In the hands of a capable manager, these systems help create a go-to structure that employees can adhere to.
Without structure, the chances for negative consequences are higher.
9. Encourages a culture of innovation
Change management helps companies develop an aptitude, and even a culture, for change.
As has been mentioned, change forms the axis of today’s economy.
With a culture that is open to change, businesses can change more effectively, stay more competitive, and minimize risks.
10. Strategic advantages
Change programs solve a problem that the company is facing.
And while every change has costs, the benefits usually outweigh those costs … otherwise the change wouldn’t have been proposed in the first place.
Another point to consider is that transformed workplaces are usually happier workplaces.
One study by Google found that work environments improved above and beyond expectations.
Maybe you plan to deploy a new software tool. Or perhaps you are restructuring. Or maybe your company is undergoing one of the many other types of organizational change.
Regardless of your proposed change, it’s vital to realize that sophisticated, well-structured change programs increase the chances of success.
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.