Posted On: December 19, 2022

Change Initiative: Keys to Successful Change in Your Organization 

Change affects every organization, industry, and market. To stay one step ahead of the competition, innovation is necessary, and it requires creating and driving change. Therefore, change initiatives are among the most critical elements of any effective strategic plan.

According to Towers Watson, companies with successful change programs are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers. Organizations that successfully manage change can overcome challenges and expand as they transform current procedures and implement new technologies. So, what are the keys to successful change in an organization? In this post, we will help you ensure the success of change initiatives in your company.

What is a change initiative? 

The goal of every change initiative in an organization is to successfully execute strategies and methods for bringing about change and assisting people in accepting and adapting to it. A change initiative is not to adopt a new system or enforce a new policy.

The change initiative definition includes the systematic approach that deals with the transition or transformation of organizational goals, core values and culture, and processes or technologies.

Change initiatives may be implemented to: 

  • Solve a problem 
  • Improve methods of working
  • Take advantage of an opportunity 
  • Better align the organization with changing conditions 
  • Respond to new business demands
  • Respond to a crisis that impacts the organization
  • Increase revenues 
  • Improve productivity 
  • Enhance quality 
  • Improve customer experience 

Moreover, change is initiated by taking a step back and analyzing an organization from a strategic perspective before developing a plan for realignment and modifications to how business is conducted.

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Keys to a Successful Change Initiative in Organizations 

Given how vital innovation and change are in today's business, it’s worth noting that many change initiatives don't reach their goals and ultimately fail.

However, an explanation for the high failure rates is that most leaders undervalue the difficulties associated with the people and instead concentrate on the processes, the hard skills, and the equipment required to produce the desired result.

To help ensure the success of change initiatives, here are seven keys to successful change initiatives in your organization: 

1. Understand the Company's Culture 

Initiatives of Change that go against corporate culture can easily lead to failure. Successful change programs incorporate existing organizational culture. To emotionally engage people to accept change, it can be quite helpful to tap into how individuals already think, feel, act, and operate within the business. It's crucial to identify the organizational culture components that support the changes leaders wish to make and put them front and center. 

2. Allocate Resources Effectively 

People drive change. Making time daily and keeping up the effort over a long period can be very challenging because almost everyone working on the change initiative must still attend to their everyday job responsibilities. Leaders must implement the proper support and incentives to facilitate and recognize the extra effort.

3. Make Proper Adjustments for Scope Creep 

Every project starts with a set of parameters and requirements that establish its scope. But as the project progresses, this scope inevitably shifts. The project will be in danger if resources are still allocated according to the original size of the work. The leaders must reevaluate the resources and make changes to reflect the new scope.

4. Engage Stakeholders 

All the individuals who have an impact on or are impacted by the change initiative are considered stakeholders. Participants in the project are unable to achieve the change on their own. It's crucial that stakeholders are positioned around the general goal and actively engaged in the process. 

5. Don’t Lose Sight of the True Goal 

As a leader, you should not be quick to claim success. Leaders must be prepared to apply meaningful success measurements to the organization and to acknowledge when success has not been accomplished. Traditional measurements, such as completing a project on time and on a budget, are typically not enough because they can be achieved without meeting the only fundamental goal— delivering the promised benefits for which the initiative was first approved.

6. Communicate Effectively

Regular communication is necessary for effective and lasting change, both during the implementation process and after the plan's main components have been put in place. It's crucial to incorporate and commit to an ongoing communications strategy that involves providing information and collecting feedback. An effective communication plan ensures that employees are fully aware of what is happening and how they can contribute to the change initiative’s success. 

7. Sustain the Innovation 

People must be prepared, willing, and able for the change to provide sustainable benefits. Several change initiatives are like a New Year's resolution, people begin them with the greatest of intentions, but the change ultimately fails to stay. People who make resolutions know it's in their best interest but find it challenging to maintain the effort. Now, apply this concept to a situation where a change is implemented externally by a manager, the board, or another party. Leaders must acknowledge that resistance to change is a natural part of human nature and that it’s essential to understand the opposition and take steps to overcome it.

Pro Tip: Take a course focused on change initiatives to help you apply all these steps to your change initiative. Succeed at your change initiatives and learn to harness the power of change through practical goal setting, motivational strategies, and healthy routines with our Power to Change course

Change Initiative Examples 

Change initiative has grown in importance because of all the changes in the business sector. 

Common examples of when change initiative is necessary within an organization include:

  • Implementation of new technology
  • Mergers & acquisitions
  • Change in leadership
  • Change in organizational culture
  • Times of a crisis

Three examples of effective organizational change demonstrating what organizations achieved and how they achieved it include:  

1. Microsoft

Microsoft's organizational structure was causing significant internal issues. The company began to undergo significant restructuring when its new CEO took over. At a very high level, Microsoft's stock price demonstrated the effectiveness of the CEO’s initiatives.

2. Google

Google became a collection of separate companies owned by Alphabet. This happened because they were growing so much that they needed to break themselves apart to work better.

Google co-founder Larry Page believed it was time for him to restructure the entire business again after dominating various high-tech projects, which proved to be a success.

3. British Airways

British Airways is the largest airline in the U.K. because it merges with four other companies. The company had difficulty managing and providing quality service in the immediate aftermath of this significant merger. 

Its privatization and the incorporation of a new chairperson led to the company’s positive momentum and increased profits by restructuring the entire organization.

To learn more about applying change initiatives, sign up for The Power to Change course, created to help you implement change for the better and achieve your goals.

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