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10 Reasons Why Changes Fail

Press release January 17, 2014 Mini MBA Probana Change management

Management is about change, but what should a manager do when faced with indisbutable resistance? PROBANA Business School gives you 10 reasons why changes are not implemented successfully.


1. Our employees will lose the feeling of being in control when we, as managers, make decisions that go over their heads and affects their working routines. Allow employees to take part in the decision-making process, and thus maintain the feeling of ownership and autonomy.

2. Eliminate uncertainty about the change by making clear and simple steps, so that employees more easily can see the goal and the way to reach it - and their own roles in the new situation.  

3. Reversed surprise effect! If employees are not allowed time to get used to the idea of a new change, they will respond to the idea with resistance. Therefore, avoid "surprising" employees with sudden initiatives - start small, and let the employees state their opinion before you implement the changes.

4. Too much change at the same time will confuse employees. Focus on the most important things of the change and implement it step-by-step. Remember that human beings are creatures of habit.

5. When people lose face, it is often an unfortunate result of changes, as a change may mean that "something" has not been working and the people responsible have not done that "something" good enough. Avoid "pointing fingers" by focusing on external factors that have contributed to the change.

6. Concern about lacking sufficient skills. Resistance to change is often based on a fear that your skills are not sufficient in a new situation. Avoid this resistance by giving as much support as possible in the form of for example information, education, training, mentoring and support systems.

7. More work is inevitable in connection with changes. Avoid underestimating or neglecting this fact and make sure that the employees who work with the changes have the necessary resources and support, and acknowledge their effort by rewarding them.

8. Rings in the water. Like a stone in the water, the change will create an effect that can influence people and routines significantly, both in and outside the organization. As a manager, you must be aware of all potential stakeholders and have a strategic plan for how the change may affect them, and how you can tackle the resistance.

9. The ghosts of the past will always be lurking in the form of previously unsuccessful initiatives and changes. Know your organization's history and culture and be prepared to have to convince people why it will "work this time".

10. When the threat is real! Let's face the fact that change sometimes is and will be a real threat to the company's employees. People can lose their jobs as a result of a change, and when this is the case, it is best to be honest, open, fair and fast. The senior management group will be remembered for their methods of handling such critical situations.

Even if managers are not always able to make a change seem attractive, it is always possible to minimize the feeling of insecurity and discomfort. Remember, there is always a reason for resistance to change - understand the cause, and you are one step closer to successful implementation.

Learn more about change management and implementation with PROBANA Business School's Mini MBA at


Mini MBA Probana Change management