Change Management

How to Overcome the Most Common
Barriers to All Change Initiatives

Change: Fast,
Frequent, Complex

The average organization has undergone five enterprise changes in the past three years. In addition, 73% of organizations expect more change initiatives in the future. Executives have little real choice when it comes to being more agile as they respond to a host of organizational change drivers.

Change Is Accelerating

73% of organizations expect more change initiatives in the next few years, and only a small minority expects the pace of change to decelerate. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to implement change effectively. In fact, only one-third of change efforts are clear successes: 16% show mixed results, and half are clear failures.

Instead of realizing the benefits from change initiatives, organizations are faced with declining productivity, stalled or failed projects, and low returns from their change investments.

“The change in our strategy from organic to inorganic growth through M&A forced us to increase the available talent base.”

Jorge Rosas
Chief Human Resources Officer

Change Takes a Toll

Change leaves employees struggling to meet their work objectives. On average, employees now experience three major changes each year, compared to just 1.75 in 2012. This high-change, high-fatigue environment impacts employees’ ability to perform; change-stressed employees perform 5% worse than the average employee.

This performance decline translates to a $32.5 million cost to the bottom line per $1 billion in revenue.

Your Change Management
Is Failing Employees

Employees' skill level and will are not the barriers to successful change; 64% of employees have most of the required skills, and 74% are willing to adapt in support of change. Yet just 26% of employees are effective at adapting to support change, and of those that are, 17% admit they adapt too slowly.

Closing this gap between employee intent and outcome requires a new approach to change management.

For Change Success,
Rethink Your Approach

Over 70% of companies use a top-down change management approach. However, this falters in the flatter organizational structures and complex reporting lines of modern companies. Organizations that use an Open Source approach vastly improve the likelihood of change success. Open Source change means:

  1. Leaders include employees in change strategy decisions,
  2. Employees own implementation planning, and
  3. Communication is focused on talking, not telling.
Benefits of Open Source Change:
Increase the probability of change success by up to 24 percentage points.
Cut implementation time by up to one-third.
Reduce time spent on change by up to 12 hours per week per employee.

HR's Role in
Change Management

Our research shows that 66% of change success factors are related to talent. HR must play a leading role in delivering successful change initiatives by focusing on a talent-centric and open-source approach.

Communicators' Role in
Change Management

Most communicators try to ease the burden of frequent change by framing it as natural and positive, but Communications could make a much bigger impact by connecting employees with the resources they need to sustain performance through change.

IT's Role in
Change Management

More than two-thirds of senior leaders believe their companies will no longer be competitive in 2020 if it doesn't become significantly more digitized. To deliver, IT leaders must change their teams from order takers from the line to a group that can effectively advise, coach, and consult with business leaders.

“CEB has helped me structure the IT function and helped me understand the value that IT can add moving forward.”

Chris Ford
Chief Information Officer
SA Power Networks

Meet the Experts

Meet the team behind our Change Management expertise.

Brian Kropp

Practice Leader, HR Practice

Read Biography

Andrew Horne

Practice Leader for CEB CIO Leadership Council

Read Biography

Dorian Cundick

Principal Executive Advisor

Read Biography

Success Stories

Torben Bundgard
Vice President, Organizational 
Novo Nordisk A/S

Novo Nordisk used CEB resources to evolve its Communications function to align more closely with changing business priorities.

Bill Haser
Chief Information Officer

Tenneco applied CEB insights and tools to guide and manage change during its SAP implementation. As a result, it streamlined change processes and reduced disruption.

Anders Schroll
Vice President, Corporate Communication and Public Affairs
H. Lundbeck

H. Lundbeck leveraged CEB tools and advisory support to allow its Communications team to function more effectively.

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CEB has been a partner to our leadership teams and me to drive change all across the organization.”

Diego Galli
Group Audit Director
Vodafone Group PLC