Embracing Change: Why Every Business Needs an Organizational Change Management Strategy

Embracing Change: Why Every Business Needs an Organizational Change Management Strategy

If nothing else, the past two years should have taught us that change is inevitable. In the wake of the pandemic, the world had to adapt within a moment’s notice. Without necessarily planning for it, many companies implemented new models for working from home and business continuity.

While most organizations and people embraced this change and found success in new ways of working, these changes were not necessarily planned for – at least not in the traditional sense. But what if they could be?

Through a process known as organizational change management, they can! Not only can companies plan for an upcoming change, but they can create a strategy to manage and implement the change to ensure its success.

What is Organizational Change Management?

Organizational change can occur for a multitude of reasons, which is why businesses must be ready to meet any challenges. Whether it’s to implement a new system, shift team structures, or bring in a new leader, change is a factor that can’t be ignored.

However, approximately 50 percent of organizational change initiatives are unsuccessful. That’s why it’s essential to have an organizational change management strategy in place.

Organizational change management is a systematic approach that allows businesses to guide change through every step of the process. Ultimately, the goal is to successfully implement change while minimizing any negative outcomes. And while effective organizational change management will include a technical component, it will also need to account for a human-centered component as well.

Why Your Company Needs Organizational Change Management?

Change can be scary. It can even lower employee morale.

As such, organizational change management needs to manage the change itself and how it impacts employees. By managing the change effectively through the right tools and methodologies, businesses can engage their employees in the change process and give them the ability to adapt.

Of course, this will require managers to utilize skills such as clear communication, emotional intelligence, and problem-solving. However, by including all stakeholders in the process and articulating how the change will impact them, leaders can lessen any potential resistance.

Usually, organizational change will fall into one of two categories – adaptive or transformational. Adaptive changes are the smaller scale, iterative changes that an organization makes over time. For instance, if your organization wants to upgrade your computer operating systems to the next version, that would be considered an adaptive change.

On the other hand, transformational changes are larger in scope and often involve a disruption of current systems or processes. For example, if your organization wants to adopt a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software across the organization, it will take a large-scale transformation to implement and train every employee.

It will also be important for a business to consider what type of organizational change management approach they would like to take as there are multiple methods. From top-down, bottom-up, employee-centered, or evidence-driven, it will come down to the context in which the change is occurring.

How to Create an Organizational Change Management Strategy?

Multiple organizational change management methodologies exist today. From the eight-step Kotter process to McKinsey’s 7-S Framework, the Nudge Theory, and many others, a business will need a model to manage the change process and change agents to drive that model forward.

In sum, all of these methods essentially boil down to defining, planning, implementing, and sustaining the change. However, for the organizational change to be effective, a mix of hard and soft elements will be crucial. For example:

  • Assessment: Any business will need a baseline assessment to understand why they need to make a change, what it would take to make that change, and how that change will impact each group of stakeholders – from customers to employees and shareholders.
  • Strategy: Businesses should incorporate factors such as project scope, timeline, key performance indicators, and resources into their strategy. Often, businesses rely on change agents to carry out a transformation project and will have organizational effectiveness or development departments dedicated to this. Change agents should be able to gain support and buy-in for the change.
  • Communication: For organizations to mitigate any fear or potential resistance, it will be in their best interest to communicate transparently and often about the progress of the change. When teams feel included and can envision the positive impact of the change on their work, it should empower them to embrace the change further.
  • Monitoring & Evaluation: Any business would be wise to not only monitor the implementation of the change but also any risks that could arise. After the implementation is complete, it will also be important to monitor the adoption of the change and evaluate the impacts that it’s had on the business.


Change can be scary, especially if an employee feels that it will negatively impact their livelihood. However, it doesn’t have to be. With effective planning, the right methodology, and transparent communication, any business can create an organizational change management strategy to guide it through a successful transformation.

Any business can start on an organizational change management journey by asking questions such as:

  1. What is the end goal of the change?
  2. Which methodology would be best to use for this change?

If you would like to discuss how organizational change management might impact your business, please share your thoughts and comments below or reach out to us for help. We would love to hear from you!

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