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Change management: solving challenges & 3 common problems


Change management process and how to solve 3 common change management problems

Time: 6 minute read

...updated 3/14/2024...

Change happens.

It's inevitable. For every person and every organization, the question isn't if. It's when.

But when it comes to change, organizations have a more vital question to ask themselves: How will we respond?

The best responses occur when a change is expected, planned for, and built into the company culture.

Even so, experience shows that sometimes change happens so fast that you must react to situations you might never have considered.

Situations like these can be stressful. Fortunately, you can relieve the stress of sudden, forced change by focusing on the positive outcomes change can bring, like becoming more agile, productive, and competitive.

How you manage change determines the success of your response. Start creating positive change by overcoming the three most common problems that stop it cold.

The reality is, no matter how successful you are, you can always do something better. For example, you can improve a product, streamline a process, or optimize a service offering.

Factors like evolving market conditions, new competitors, and new technologies only add urgency. Failure to change allows more nimble competitors to get ahead. Planning for change and making it part of your culture makes it easier to adapt and stay competitive and agile.

Of course, change presents a challenge, doesn’t it? We don't like it.

We prefer the comfort of our routines. This preference can make it difficult to change. As a result, even the most inspired business leaders in companies of every size face a path full of potential roadblocks when proposing a change.

A defined change management process overcomes these challenges.

The key for you is to make adapting to change part of your company culture. Even if you do, you're still likely to face three common issues related to change.

Let’s take a closer look by:

  • Defining change management

  • Describing the change management process and how to manage it

  • Detailing the three common change management problems and how to get past them.

What is change management?

Change management refers to the approaches, tools, and processes that a business uses to prepare, support, and direct its people to achieve predefined goals of organizational change.

It aims to smooth the process of change and even makes it desirable.

What does a change management process look like?

A change management process doesn't need to be complicated. It should, however, be comprehensive. The more detailed it is, the greater your likelihood of success.

Do a quick online search, and you will find a variety of different change management models. The models may look different, but they really aren't. Successful change management processes follow the same general path. Differences exist only in the details.

Change management processes all rely on these same principles:

  • Identify the change needed and use S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goal setting to build the business case.

  • Present the business case and goals to stakeholders.

  • Create a plan for the project.

  • Coordinate resources and tools for implementation and evaluation.

  • Open lines of communication throughout the organization.

  • Manage the change, concerns, and even resistance that may occur during the process.

  • Celebrate the implementation of the change, as well as the milestones achieved along the way.

Every organization should also establish guidelines for ongoing review, analysis of results, and optimization. For more information on the subject, read our articles:

How to implement effective organizational change

How to implement organizational change for process improvement.

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Make change management work for you

Change can be hard, but it is inevitable. It can also be a key catalyst for growth and staying competitive. We know. We help our customers make big changes all the time. Sometimes, it's as simple as an upgrade of a printer with new automated technologies. Other times, we help customers develop more extensive enterprise-wide change management plans through our consulting services.

View Strategic Consulting Services

Explore our Strategic Consulting Services for more information on how we help organizations make the changes they need to stay agile and competitive.

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  1. 1Ashkenas, Ron. "Change management needs to change." Harvard Business Review. 16 April 2013.