Why do so Many Change Processes Fail?

Change Phases
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James Antwi
HR Consultant, Ghana

Why do so Many Change Processes Fail?

Most often change processes do not succeed because of some ASSUMPTIONS we make before and during the change process.

One such well-known assumption is that people hate change so they may resist change. I see this as a myth in change process.
Clearly, it is not that people hate change, but rather people do not want change to be imposed on them.

The best way to avoid this is to involve people in the change process right from the beginning to increase the chances they will corporate with the process.


Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands

Why Change Efforts Not Succeed

Thank you James for your interesting topic. I think this very much behind Kotter's thinking with his eight reasons and phases why many change processes don't succeed.
Also take a look at our competence center about Resistance to change which has a lot on how we can avoid and manage such resistance.

Gregory Johnson
Coach, United States

Why Change Efforts Fail

I agree with Jaap de Jonge and would like to add a caveat. Oftentimes our ambition is to improve an ... Sign up

Steven Cooke, Philippines

Change Processes are CONTINUOUS

One of the main reasons that I have seen "Change Processes" fail in my career is that they are often... Sign up

Paramathmuni srinivas Kumar

Camel and Thorn Analogy for Resistance of Change

A camel enjoys eating thorns; thus it has blood smeared in its mouth… It persists eating the thorns ... Sign up

Fernando Rodriguez
Project Manager, United States

Who are the Informers of the Change Processes?

I noticed in my field that often upper management does not listen to the doers/performers. These per... Sign up

Manager, India

Risks in Change Process not Addressed

Change is often seen too much as a positive thing. In the process of preparing and carrying out the ... Sign up

Graham Williams
Management Consultant, South Africa

Why So Many Change Processes Fail

For starters, inherent in the 8 Kotter solutions is an old-style, "PROJECT-BASED' PARADIGM - which i... Sign up

Armando Aramayo
Business Consultant, Peru

The Need for Flexibility in Change Processes

Everything changes every minute. Businesses are no exception. For businesses, changes occur both in... Sign up

Manager, Hong Kong

Culture is Difficult to Change

I think the CULTURE of an organization is one of the most important things in any organization, but ... Sign up

Bernhard Keim
Business Consultant, Germany

The Current System at Least Works to some Extent…

Resistance against change is widespread and common. One of the reasons for it is that the existing s... Sign up

patricia lucki
Consultant, Guatemala

Key Role of Communication

In any case, with or without Kotter, which is a fair beginning, COMMUNICATIONS is basic. People resi... Sign up

Connie James

The Change has to be Integrated in the Organization

Loved the question and agree with the answers. I thought of how change is often viewed as an add-on ... Sign up

Bernhard Keim
Business Consultant, Germany

Resisting Change is Rational

To resist change is far more rational than to embrace it. Every organisation needs stability to work... Sign up

Graham Williams
Management Consultant, South Africa

Why So Many Change Processes Fail

@Armando (flexibility) and @Patricia (communication) make excellent points. Quite apart from seriou... Sign up

Sridhar Gopal
Management Consultant, India

What's in it for Me…

We all have experienced change - with, without and in spite of resistance: As a high school stu... Sign up

Norman Dragt

Back to Basics of Motivation

I wonder if Kotter ever looked at motivational theory when addressing change. A motivational theory ... Sign up

Oshun, Grace Okaima
Lecturer, Nigeria

Resistance To Change is Exaggerated

The belief that there will always be resistance to change is over bloated. People resist change whe... Sign up

Faris Babouri
Coach, France

We are Afraid of Change!

We often fail to change because we are UNCONSCIOUSLY RELUCTANT to it. That is because we know what ... Sign up

Muhammad Ali
Student (Other), Pakistan

Lack of Readiness for Change and Mindfulness

Most change processes fail because of resistance for change. This aspect is caused bynegative facto... Sign up

Mark Kelly
Manager, Australia

Embrace Resistance

As Waddell pointed out, resistance can be one of the main reasons why change fails. This point has c... Sign up

Soma Pillay
Manager, United Kingdom

Why do So Many Change Processes Fail?

Agree with all. Top management see change as a task and use a top-down approach, which could fail a... Sign up

Pramod Kumar Gupta

Do not be Naive in Change Management

Obviously, if the OBJECTIVE IS A TAINTED* one - a strategy which might affect the people concerned a... Sign up

CxO / Board, India

The Objective Needs to be in the Interest of the Organization

The objective of the change should not be doubted by the people involved. At the same time, the int... Sign up

Patrick Parsons, South Africa

Why Projects Fail

Agree with all statements above. Note that change is brought about by either an initiative or a pro... Sign up

Isaiah Maisiba
Manager, Kenya

Why so Many Change Processes are Failing?

Change means breaking habits we learned long ago, sometimes over a life time. It implies moving OUT ... Sign up

Rob Powys-Smith
Analyst, United Kingdom

Change versus Changing

@Greg Johnson: This strikes me as a subtle, but key distinction. "We are changing" invokes a continu... Sign up

T V N Murthy
Entrepreneur, India

Change is Inevitable

No process will fail. Every process of a change has takers and ignorant people. Takers make it a su... Sign up

Daniel Lopez

The Culture of your People

The main problem is the people's CULTURE. You need to fight with that. It is always a problem. If yo... Sign up

Vincent Miholic
Manager, United States

Is 'Change' an Institutional Value?

Ideally, change should be a cultural characteristic, woven into the fabric of the institution. CHANG... Sign up

Abraham Simpson
CEO, Nauru

Why Corporate Change often Fails

My experience in corporate change lies with companies having less than 1000 employees. Both as a lea... Sign up

Damodaram Kuppuswami
Consultant, India

Focus on Creating Understanding of the Need for Change

Fear and anxiety certainly influence the acceptance for change. However, if people are informed of t... Sign up

Teacher, Colombia

Involve People in the Change and in its Goals and Activities

If you want people to assume the change, involve them in the change: that they participate in the de... Sign up

Andyson Mupeta
Student (MBA), Zambia

Sustain the Intended Changes

I have noticed that the FADING SUPPORT FOR THE INITIAL CHANGES before the intended results are reali... Sign up

Isaiah Maisiba
Manager, Kenya

Sustaining the Change Process

WE HAVE TO ACCEPT CHANGE OR CHANGE WILL CHANGE US. Change is the only constant phenomena for success... Sign up

Abdourahmane DIOP
Management Consultant, Senegal

Factors Explaining Failing Change Efforts

At home, in Senegal, two major factors explain the failures in the implementation of the change: it ... Sign up

Love Lonnroth
Management Consultant, Sweden

Change is Hard When Rigidity is the Norm

Established organizations have invested a lot of time and effort in becoming management machines. ST... Sign up

Steven Cooke, Philippines

Real Management Support for the Change Effort is Required

@Abdourahmane DIOP: True! You said: "this is a deficient attitude of management" - in any case. Real... Sign up

David Harland
Consultant, United Kingdom

Candour is a Must in Change

Whenever I read one of these threads, it's clear that (at least together) the people here know the i... Sign up

Lloyd Lawrence
Manager, Australia

Many Blocks to Change..

I have experience in rolling out a national Knowledge Management project. I am several layers down t... Sign up

Neilson Asiedu
Strategy Consultant, United States

Why a Change Process Fails

Change is an undeniable factor in our social life. According to George Bernard Shaw; “Progress is i... Sign up

David Harland
Consultant, United Kingdom

Change Stress and Cognitive Impairment

Good points @Lloyd Lawrence. My policy has always been if I assign someone to a task they can speak ... Sign up

Manager, Kenya

Why do So Many Change Processes Fail?

In my opinion many change processes fail due to LEADERSHIP'S INABILITY to define the change agenda, ... Sign up

Lloyd Lawrence
Manager, Australia

Toyota's Success

@David Harland: Thanks David, It certainly would be interesting to experience an adaptable and creat... Sign up

Student (University), China

The Key is the Inside and Emotions of Human Beings

So many useful answers... it's unbelievable. This motivated me to think deeply. In my opinion, I thi... Sign up

Maurice Hogarth
Consultant, United Kingdom

Change and Personal Pay-Off

@Sridhar Gopal: I agree and believe that this is the fundamental aspect of why many change "projects... Sign up

Om Tiwari
Turnaround Manager, India

Why the Change Initiatives Fail

Change is the only constant, permanent thing. Whether we like it or not, change should be planned fo... Sign up


More on Change Phases:
Discussion Topics
Kotter's New 8 Accelerators for Strategic Change
Emotions During Organizational Change: the Change Curve
👀Why do so Many Change Processes Fail?
🔥The Roles of Managers in Organizational Change (Carnall)
How to Establish a Sense of Urgency (Kotter)? Ideas
Neglecting the Change Phases
Disadvantages of the Kotter Change Theory
How to Consolidate and Keep Moving (Kotter)? Ideas
How to Create a Coalition (Kotter)? Ideas
How to Develop a Clear Vision (Kotter)? Ideas
How to Share / Communicate the Vision (Kotter)? Ideas
Kotter's Dual Operating System
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How to Clear Obstacles (Kotter)? Ideas
How to Secure Short-term Wins (Kotter)? Ideas
The Roles of Top and Middle Management in Change
Add Unlearning to Kotter's Change Phase Model
How to Structure Large Scale Change Efforts
Using Kotter After Cameron and Quinn's Competing Values Framework
Kotter Change Steps for Political Change
Our Iceberg is Melting
Organizational Change: Why Establish a Sense of Urgency First?
Kotter Change Model in Public Sector
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