Change Management

Why does organizational change fail

Common reasons organizational change fail

The most common pitfalls of organizational change

There is a scene from the 1999 movie The Matrix where Morpheus offers Neo the blue pill or the red pill. If Neo takes the blue pill everything stays the same, and if he takes the red pill he falls through the rabbit hole and sees things like they really are.

Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

With the rate of technological disruption and the global economy, change is now the normal state of business. The blue pill is no longer an option!

Why does organizational failure occur at such a high rate – A once-off Town Hall ain’t gonna cut it!

Organizational change does not come easy, however. Many organizational change efforts fail to reach their objectives. Why? Here are the most common reasons why change fails, and why company strategies don’t get successfully implemented.


  1. Failure to make a compelling case for change – People need to make sense of the change before they change
  2. Not involving the employees – Leaders believe top-down still works
  3. Ignoring current organizational culture – Failure to understand and shape the informal organization
  4. Real change happens at the bottom of the organization – It does not happen at the town hall meeting or through the intranet
  5. Not dealing proactively with resistance
  6. Failing to celebrate small wins – Change management is a dolphin, not a whale

→ Read more: Top twenty common mistakes in leading organizational transformation

People don’t believe what they read on the walls. They believe what they see in the halls

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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, Switzerland and United Kingdom

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