Gina Temple: Avoid These Three Change Management Obstacles
Leading an organization through successful change is a challenging task, but valuable lessons can be learned from other individuals and organizations, thanks to Prosci’s Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking research. Participants offer valuable data and insights on how to implement change and, perhaps more importantly, how not to implement change. With the help of change management professionals worldwide, you can anticipate and avoid common obstacles to success.
Research participants revealed their top obstacles.
Lack of active sponsorship and executive support
Effective change management entails understanding the roles of executives in implementing change initiatives and allocating the necessary resources. Unfortunately, according to the Best Practices in Change Management Report by Prosci, several executives have yet to grasp these fundamental concepts. The lack of understanding has culminated in inconsistent communication, inadequate transparency, and organizational visibility.
Gina Temple notes that executive sponsorship barriers include a general lack of buy-in for change, infrequent engagement, and dwindling support after the change has gone live. Organizations looking to institute change initiatives should prioritize the education of executives on their roles, the purpose of change, and the resources required to ensure successful implementation.
It is the largest obstacle indicated by participants. As with previous studies, it reveals sponsorship’s crucial impact on change management. In the same way that effective sponsorship can activate and mobilize an organization, poor sponsorship can delay and inhibit progress. Employees often interpret an inactive or absent sponsor as an indicator of how important or unimportant an initiative is, notes Gina Temple. Some research also shows a direct correlation between active sponsorship and the likelihood of meeting project objectives. Lack of effective communication led to misalignment.
Without effective communication—that is transparent, aligns with organizational goals, and builds awareness—misalignment and confusion become an issue for teams impacted by the change. As a result, participants must spend more time and resources communicating expectations, clarifying roles, and encouraging buy-in.
Effective communication during change starts with employees’ preferred senders, Gina Temple points out. Many employees prefer to receive business messages about the change from people at the organization’s top. When it comes to personal messages, such as answers to “What’s in it for me?” employees prefer to communicate with their immediate supervisor.
Lack of solution support created resistance and change buy-in.
In organizational change, employees must resist the process for various reasons. According to Gina Temple, the most common group that resists change is those lacking engagement with their current work systems. However, some fear the unknown or do not understand the new processes being implemented. These individuals become accustomed to their current system, causing them to lack the general desire to embrace change. As a leader in the organization, it is essential to understand employees’ resistance and work to address it through clear communication and education about the changes taking place.
Resistance is often linked to people and groups that don’t understand the business reasons for a change. Creating buy-in for the change is an important step in any change management initiative and has been one of the pillars of the Prosci Methodology from its inception, says Gina Temple. Creating buy-in must start by sharing an acceptable “why” for the change up front.
Gina Temple has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare community, with experiences ranging from for-profit to not-for-profit organizations and acute care centers to outpatient clinics. Subscribe to this page. for more information and insights on leadership, organizational change, process improvement, and Lean change management.