The chicken and the egg - successful organisational change starts and ends with employees

Change is the only constant. Organisations are constantly evolving to, for example, keep meeting their customers' needs, stay ahead of the competition, respond to innovations or changing laws and regulations. Any of these examples will no doubt seem familiar to you. However, if change is the only constant, why do so many organisational changes fail to succeed? Good preparation increases the chances of success.

Prepare your organisational change early on

The failure of organisational change costs organisations an enormous amount of time and resources. A common cause: there is no willingness to change: for example, employees do not feel the urgency, there is too little commitment from the organisation or little attention has been paid to creating support. We are convinced that this can be prevented by not only combining change management with project management, but also deploying change management at an early stage (during project preparation). Many organisations only pay attention to change management during the realisation phase of the project. Early preparation is done, for instance, by already considering the need for change and the effect of the change on employees when translating organisational goals into project goals. Fortunately, we see increasing attention being paid to combining change management and project management.

How to tackle a change process early on

We believe that success lies in a planned but flexible approach that allows room for learning and improvement, while at the same time focusing on the human side: behavioural change. To this end, we follow our pragmatic methodology, which helps change agents give early direction to the change process and make the behavioural side more tangible. Our approach consists of four phases, each with its own goal and focus on behavioural change.

In the first phase, the analysis phase, becomes obsolete why the change is necessary and what the change need is. Based on the why, it can be determined what is expected from employees. A clear ''why'' and ''what'' in the analysis phase leads to a higher success rate of the actual change.

After identifying the why and the change plan and associated behaviours, it is possible to determine how the change will be furnished in the design phase. In other words, ''how'' do you, as a change agent, make employees go through the change.

During the implementation of the change process, the focus is on strengthening "awareness" of the change and employees' "desire" to join it. In addition, employees are permanently provided with "knowledge" and "ability" to implement the change. The change agent does this using the previously defined interventions and tools, such as a communication plan.

Finally, reality in the anchoring phase, employees show the desired behaviour and apply the new way of working in their daily work: it is part of their habits. In addition, a clear relationship has been realised between behaviour and the desired organisational performance, matching the organisational goals.

Want to get started with this methodology yourself?

Want to know more about this pragmatic change methodology and the right tools to deploy it within your organisation? Go to our website and get in touch: Change management - Improve. Our consultants will be happy to tell you more!