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Barriers to organizational change

The more things change, the more they stay the same

In 1849, French journalist Jean-Baptise Alphonse Karr wrote what was to become a famous epigram: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” Or “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. Though Karr penned this with a satirical edge, his quotation holds true in today’s corporations.

The outcome is almost always the same: The more things change, the more they stay the same – because more than 70% of change initiatives fail.

Barriers to organizational change

The brutal fact is that about 70% of all change initiatives fail. But why? In most of the cases organizational-change failures are driven by … negative employee attitudes and unproductive management behavior. The most general lesson to be learned from the many studies is that organizational culture is the most common barriers.

 

Infographic - Barriers to organizational change

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Change management has become much bigger

The reality is that today’s organizations were simply never designed to change proactively and deeply – they were built for discipline and efficiency, enforced through hierarchy and routinization. As a result, there’s a mismatch between the pace of change in the external environment and the fastest possible pace of change at most organizations.

Change management is no longer a term that denotes only operational improvements, cost efficiencies and process re-engineering. Change management has become a much bigger, more interwoven part of the overall business fabric – an embedded leadership requirement that plays into everything.

Build a change platform

Change is the new normal for leadership success and all leaders must accept this fact. Leaders need to build a change platform – one that allows anyone to initiate change, recruit confederates, suggest solutions and launch experiments.

 

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Infographic: Barriers to organizational change — http://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/awc

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About the author
Torben Rick Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

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About the author
Torben Rick Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland

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2 comments on “Barriers to organizational change

February 2, 2015 9:29 pm

Jon Stallings

Hey Torben, as part or unproductive management would you include waning leadership support over time? – Leadership is excited for the change upfront but as time passes and change often takes time the initial desire for change will fade.

April 8, 2015 2:54 am

Zac Reichert

Love the info graphic to illustrate your point- pun intended. Would like to see the citations – I recognize some of the material but have a hard time placing it.

Great work

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