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  • Eric Currie

Ten Things Managers Should Avoid During Organizational Change

Ten Things Managers Should Avoid During Organizational Change

Organizational change is an integral part of business growth and survival. However, the process of implementing change is often fraught with challenges, and many change initiatives fail to achieve their desired outcomes. In fact, research shows that 70% of organizational change fails. This failure can be largely attributed to common mistakes made by managers during the redesign process. 


I’m Eric Currie, a change coach and speaker, who teaches managers and organizations to change better. I’ve identified ten critical pitfalls that managers should avoid to ensure successful change. These range from underestimating the impact of change, poor communication, and neglecting employee involvement, to starting too late and not providing sufficient resources. Let’s have a closer look into each of these pitfalls to provide you with a simple and transparent guide for managers navigating the complex terrain of organizational transformation.



Not Remaining Active and Visible

Managers are key to the change process and therefore they should avoid the urge to disappear into their offices during a period of change. Instead, they should be the guiding light, actively involved and visible throughout the life of the project to mitigate resistance and articulate the change vision.


Underestimating the Impact of the Change

The ripple effects of organizational change can be far-reaching and extend beyond just the immediate team or department. Ignoring the potential impact on employees, processes, and systems can lead to resistance and failure. It’s critical to conduct a thorough team impact analysis to anticipate and mitigate potential challenges.


Poor Communication

Communication is not just about information dissemination; it's key to managing improvements. A clear communication plan detailing the “what’s changing”, “why now”, and how the change will impact their team is crucial to develop and implement. Ensuring all stakeholders understand the reasons behind the change pays dividends during implementation.


Ignoring Employee Resistance

Resistance to organizational change is natural and should not be dismissed. Instead of ignoring it, managers should acknowledge, understand, and address the root causes of resistance to facilitate smoother transitions. Open dialogue and constructive feedback can help in easing employee concerns and fostering acceptance.


Not Involving Users Early in the Process

Employees who will be directly affected by the change should not be mere spectators. They should be involved early on in the decision-making process. Their “front line” insights can prove invaluable in shaping effective change strategies.


Underestimating the Emotional Impact of Change

Underestimating the Emotional Impact of Change

Change is not just a logistical challenge but can also be emotionally draining for employees. Managers should be empathetic, providing support and reassurance to help employees navigate this challenging time. Recognizing and addressing these emotional responses is a critical component of your change management strategies.


Lack of Leadership Buy-in

For any change initiative to succeed, it needs more than just approval; it requires the full commitment and backing of leadership. Without this enthusiastic support, the change effort may falter, spudder and fail. Leaders should actively champion the change and demonstrate their belief in its value and continually share the “why” behind a change.


Starting Too Late

Waiting for a crisis to occur before initiating change can lead to rushed decisions and poor outcomes. When change is rushed the urge to not use change management best practices may be tempting. However, I tell my  clients…you can do change now or after implementation, but it must be done.  So remember, it's critical to anticipate changes in the business environment and start planning for change well in advance.


Insufficient Resources

Change requires more than just an idea; it needs resources, whether it's time, money, or personnel. Managers should ensure there are adequate (or advocate for) resources allocated to the change effort. This includes not only financial investment but also sufficient manpower and time to implement the change effectively.


Neglecting Employee Involvement

Employees should not be mere recipients of change, they should be engaged throughout. Their involvement can lead to greater buy-in, less resistance, and greater adoption. Encouraging active participation can foster a sense of ownership and commitment to change among employees and even turn the biggest naysayer into an advocate.


To effectively manage organizational change, managers should work to avoid these common pitfalls.Transformation requires strategic planning, clear communication and an understanding of your team’s perspectives around a change. Taking time to plan your approach will not only help your team but it will help you too!


Let’s connect and discuss how I can help you and your organization to change better.


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