Dealing with large-scale change

Large scale change can be likened to the collision of two forces, the first force being the existing environment and the second the planned changes to the environment, the word collision suggests that one or both forces may be slowed down or even stopped due to the impact of the collision. Innovation is forcing organizations to change, the banking sector is a prime example of how innovation disrupts the market and forces companies to change, these changes are usually unexpected and requires a complete makeover in the operating models of companies. Shock changes introduced by senior leadership with the aim of making remarkable improvements seldom receives the same enthusiasm from the employees impacted by such changes, in fact adoption can be of such low standard that the organisation often hangs onto or inevitably reverts to the old ways. Evidence suggests that large-scale change management is intricate and difficult for most organizations, some fail because they lack the ability to capture the hearts and minds of people and to take them on the journey of change.


Well documented cases of companies across the globe that have experienced both failure and success in introducing strategic change suggests that vital ingredients of a winning recipe are socializing the idea, learning about the change, mobilizing employees through engagement and realigning to the change. Many organisation experience change and some are forced to change in order to survive economic challenges. Employees usually resist change because it threatens to disrupt working environments, as a result change creates demotivated employees and sometimes even an increase in “absenteeism”.


Change management team should focus on the views of employees impacted by change and assist with their transition, sufficient support should be made available to impacted employees and skilled resources should be contracted to prepare employees for the imminent change. These skilled resources should be equipped and experienced enough to deal with the different phases of the transition process. The change approach utilized should focus on transitioning employees through the unlearning, changing and then relearning excises to ensure stickiness to the change. Introduce a blended “top-down” and “bottom-up” approach that includes every impacted employee in the organisation and introduce a culture of leading by example which encourages each person in the organisation to focus on changing him / herself. Some organisation go as far as including the voice of their customers in their design process of the change by understanding and recognizing the needs of their customers, they build trust through transparency, they create supporters and use those supporters to spread the word and generate followers, then there is also the old saying of you cannot manage what you cannot measure so measurement of the success of the change at critical intervals is important. Introduce effective communication as well as activities that fosters “inclusivity”. Build good relationships, and processes that are perceived as fair can increase the success rate of change.


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