Your intentions for change may have been positive, but for some reason the change has failed. If you cannot find an underlying reason behind the failure, then most likely it can be tallied up to a poorly managed change process. If your changes do not follow a consistent and structured approach and proven methodology, then it is safe to say that your desired outcomes will not be achieved.
Every failed change will cost your business- whether that be in terms of time, financially, and/or resources. In a constant state of change, organisations cannot afford and should not accept any carelessness in regards to the change process. And this is why we have listed the core areas that will be severely impacted by poorly managed change; so you can understand how much influence ineffective change can really have on your business.
If you cannot produce the results that you promised investors or sponsors of change, then you may actually lose their investment or advocacy, which has the potential to impact future planned change projects. You will have to start again from zero to build their trust.
Through poorly managing change, you may have wasted the original budget that was set to cover managing the entire project; resulting in additional budgets needed to complete the project effectively. Your organisational or departmental budget may not have the luxury of providing these extra funds immediately, and this could mean that you have to wait till the next quarter, or the following year to continue the project.
Ineffective change management means you did not focus on the people side of change enough; causing the adoption and acceptance rate of the change to plummet. This may result in going back to base camp by providing additional training and awareness sessions for those who are directly impacted by the change to help them understand the overall benefits of the change. This pushes the project's milestones and goals even further back.
This slow change process will eat away at your allocated budgets and schedules which could negatively impact individual’s attitudes towards organisational change and its ROI. With milestones and targets being missed, the project may eventually be put on hold or even completely abandoned; meaning all the work that was previously done has essentially gone to waste.
Revisiting your failed or incomplete work
This ties in with the previous point about time wasting. If your change projects are failing or are incomplete, then you will have to think about the costs of having to go back to try and fix your inefficiencies and mistakes. This means more time will have to be spent revising your project scope and design, and revaluate your previous work- costing your business more resources and time than what was initially planned for. This will severely hinder the productivity of your business.
If you have not been addressing the people side of change, then it can be assumed that you may have faced employee resistance in some shape or form. Although resistance can be classed as ‘normal’ and should be expected, a core element of poorly managed change is not having a structured plan in place to address any resistance problems before they get out of hand.
For instance, maybe your employees perceive the change as a threat to their normal everyday working environment and structure. This type of feeling will only occur if the change has been badly introduced and they cannot see the benefits of the proposed change; causing them to push back against the change or just ignore it. No matter how effective the rest of your change process is, if you don’t have your employees on side with the change then your results will not matter.
In the worst-case scenario, this may encourage a snowball effect whereby staff will be disinterested in any future changes, so your business will be constantly trying to appease them to gain their trust, advocacy and commitment.
Inability to handle new obstacles
More than ever, organisations are forced to tackle new changes on all fronts- whether it is new regulations being enforced, or it is new technology that your competitors are rapidly adopting (for example AI.) If you cannot manage change and do not have dedicated processes in place to guide your organisation through the design and implementation of change, then you will be left behind. This will result in a multitude of repercussions, including the loss of market share and revenue.
The only solution available is to consider the people side of change earlier on and integrate it into your strategy and processes; allowing change to be managed effectively from the get-go and achieve your desired outcomes and results. It will also help to mitigate having to go back and revisit failed change and projects; ensuring projects are completed on schedule and your expected returns can be delivered.
If you have ever been victim to poorly managed change or if you have been the offender, then we highly recommend to get skilled in change management now to avoid these negative outcomes occurring in the future and to take your organisational change capabilities to the next level.
At CMC Partnership Asia, we are a leading provider of the global, market-leading Prosci Change Management Training, Workshops and Advisory services and we have delivered many successful changes for our international clients over the past 20+ years.
We recommend taking a look at the Prosci Enterprise Change Management Boot Camp to learn more about developing your organisational change management capability.
Leading organisations around the world are deploying Enterprise Change Management (ECM) to embed change capabilities into their organisations. The ECM Bootcamp is an interactive, fast paced programme on how to institutionalise change management practices, process, capabilities and competencies- ensuring that poorly managed change is a thing of the past.
Take a look at our range of Prosci change management solutions aimed at developing change management competency within organisations.