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Are these the 10 most common change mistakes?

Author: Richard Jones
Account Director

To really effect change and make a difference you have to get directly involved and truly believe in the change agenda.

People talk about change and that change is good, but according to a report commissioned by Everest, Moving from Digital Readiness to Effectiveness, it was reported that companies undertaking digital transformation initiatives tend to fall short of their objectives, with an amazing 73% of enterprises failing to realise continuous returns.

CIOs, tech experts and management consultants all state a number of factors that contribute to bad outcomes and delivery, yet they all note that below average change management is the most frequent influence, if not leading factor that contribute to failure. Ostensibly it is reported that there are 10 common change mistakes, but how should companies navigate around them.

1.     Failing to see change for what it really is

“There are 2 very distinct types of change. The first is all about project-driven change. The second is culture-driven change; it’s not predictable, it’s not something you can plan, for the most part we don’t know what the impact will be on culture, people, mindsets and practices until we see it happening”, VP at Gartner’s CIO Research division.

2.     Not taking the reins

Oversight and responsibility for change management tends to reside in traditional HR departments within the majority of organizations. As a result, some CIOs simply pass off the task to operational and HR colleagues.

3.     Underestimating the uphill battle

People are genuinely scared of change. Worried how new initiatives will impact their day-to-day duties, whether it will hurt their positions or potentially create redundancy. To cope, many struggle to adjust; some even fight against the change.

4.     Lacking full commitment from business executives

CIOs should ensure that business leaders and executives who will benefit from change initiatives occupy and champion change. Although CIOs should have shared responsibility for change management, it’s a common mistake for CIOs to be the most vocal and visible proponent of change.

5.     Segregating change leaders

One of the most common mistakes, according to industry leaders is keeping change management segregated from the overall initiative.

 6.     Failing to hire change management experts

Not recognising change management as a specialist discipline and one that requires professionals with a level of training and expertise to ensure successful delivery.

7.     Allocating inadequate resources

Similarly, many organizations fail to allocate enough resources to change management.

8.     Ignoring those impacted

Failure to engage directly with those impacted by an initiative and instead relying on preconceived notions about what’s needed to get people from Point A to Point B.

9.     Failing to update and adapt

Highlight and champion early wins and past successes to gain support for new endeavours and provide templates for future initiatives.

10.  Thinking users should adjust their expectations

Executive partners sometimes ignore well-established behaviours with the expectation that users should abandon popular practices and automatically adopt new ways that don’t deliver any immediate or visible benefits. It’s a mistake that often sinks initiatives —


Having specialised in change and transformation executive search for over 20 years, I have been extremely fortunate in interviewing hundreds of change experts and industry leaders across SME’s, Private equity houses to multi-national Plc’s and one message has remained constant when it comes to change management, to really effect change and make a difference you have to get directly involved and truly believe in the change agenda.


Richard Jones is a Director at Forward Role, you can find out more about his experience HERE.

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