Thought Leadership Articles

    Common Pain Points During Change and how you can Address them

    Nov 20, 2020 | Posted by Rhys Tompkins

    Going through organisational change is rarely a smooth journey. There will inevitably be bumps along the way. In this blog, we’ve identified three common ‘pain points’ and ways in which they can be overcome.

    Resistance from impacted groups

    Prosci® often describe change as going from the current state, through the transition state, to the future state. Think of the current state as the comfort zone, and the future state as uncertainty. It is inevitable that this will bring about pockets of resistance in your organisation.

    However, resistance is not just a small hurdle to overcome- It can come with severe costs like project delays, loss of valued employees and inefficiencies.

    We can’t allow this resistance to fester and grow. Ideally, we need to prevent this resistance from even surfacing in the first place, by adequately planning how to tackle it during the planning stage. However, if resistance to the change is already happening, you can still make steps to mitigate it.

    When planning your change management activities, steps you can take to prevent resistance include; engaging sponsors, tailoring communications to specific audiences and ensuring a thorough integration of the project and change management teams.

    As for situations where resistance is already existing, you can attempt to mitigate this by; identifying the root cause of the resistance (Prosci’s ADKAR® assessments are a great tool to help you determine this), organising a range of activities in order to listen to concerns and remove personal ‘blockers’ regarding the change, and enable and empower managers and supervisors to act as ‘resistance managers’ within their teams.

    Sponsors not fulfilling their role effectively 

    For our change management work to be successful, we need our sponsors to be engaged, and to also be effective in supporting the change throughout the lifecycle of the project. However, this isn’t always the case, and can often be a stumbling block for change managers.

    The way in which we overcome this ‘pain point’ is by ensuring that the sponsor(s) of the change understand their role and what we, as the change manager, expect from them. Prosci talk about the ABC’s of sponsorship, which should help you with this. 

    Sponsors need to;

    1. Be active and visible throughout the lifecycle of the change, not just at the kick-off meeting and at project closure.

    2. Build a coalition. Your sponsor will not always be able to spend their time communicating the change, and although they shouldn’t delegate all of their responsibilities, they can build a coalition of sponsorship to support their role.

    3. Communicate directly with impacted groups which will help to begin an understanding of the change.

    Lack of common change management framework

    Another blocker that can have an effect on how well you carry out your change management work can be the lack of a common change management framework that everyone adheres to. On changes that have a low overall impact, this may not have such a detrimental effect.

    However, on larger scale changes that impact the whole organisation, a lack of common practices can lead to senior leaders becoming frustrated and disengaged, who are the very people we need to be championing the change, as pointed out previously in this blog.

    Introducing this, is indeed, a longer term ambition, and relies on the backing of your senior leaders. However, if you can clearly evidence the positive impact that this can bring to an organisation, your future changes will certainly realise the benefit.

    You may resonate with these three common challenges during change, and hopefully, there are some useful tips in this blog that can help you along the way.

    Interested in learning more?

    You may wish to consider joining one of our public Prosci® Practitioner Certification courses over the coming months, where you’ll gain access to many of the tools and templates that can help you in your change management work. Take a look at our upcoming dates, or find out more by taking a downloading the brochure!

    If you're interested in rolling out Prosci change management training within your organisation, CMC Global can help! Get in touch for a conversation around how we can support you, and how we can meet your needs as an organisation.

    Topics: Change Sponsorship, Resistance Management


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