Tips For Effective Organizational Change Management

Businesses must constantly improve their products and services to meet a changing world—whether that world is changing due to new technology, new competitors, new laws, or a shift in underlying economic trends.

Failure to adjust and change could cause stagnation or loss.

Approximately 50 percent of organizational change initiatives fail, highlighting the importance of knowing how to plan for, coordinate, and carry out the change.

Have you been charged with the duty of managing a significant change initiative in your organization? Do you want to prove yourself capable of spearheading such an initiative again in the future?

Here’s a quick rundown of what organizational change management is, the types of organizational change, the critical steps in the process, and actions you can take to demonstrate your organizational leadership and grow your career.

What Is Change Management?

Change management is the action a business takes to adjust a significant component of its organization, including company culture, internal processes, technology, organizational hierarchy, or other critical aspects.

Types of Organizational Change

In this article, we explore the various types of organizational change to better understand the organizational change management process. There are three types of organizational change: Adaptive, Transformational and In-between.

Adaptive Change

Adaptive changes are tiny adjustments that companies and managers make to stay in tune with daily, weekly, and monthly challenges.

These changes are often linked to fine-tuning existing processes, products, and company culture and do not change the company as a whole.

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Adaptive changes are helpful to businesses for many reasons. For example, a company might add a new payment option for customers who complete an order online. Or a business might implement a new intake form for its clients or vendors.

A company might also add a new page to an existing website or iterate upon a current product to address customer complaints or better serve customer needs.

To manage adaptive changes effectively, managers need to drive and control the process.

First, they must understand why the changes are minor but necessary for the organization’s long-term success. Then, they must convince their employees and key stakeholders that these small changes will benefit the organization as a whole.

Transformational change

Transformational change refers to significant changes that have a dramatic impact on the business. This type of change often has a considerable effect on a company’s strategy, culture, organization, and processes.

Transformational change can be a dramatic evolution of its structure itself, such as its supply chain or operations.

An example of transformation change how Netflix reinvented the TV and movie-watching experience.

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External factors are responsible for most transformational change.

These changes are often triggered by major external factors such as a new competitor or acquisition.

Adaptive changes necessitate managers to be methodical and analytical, but transformational changes need them to be persuaders and visionaries.

When faced with such drastic changes, the manager’s primary responsibility is to lead employees to believe in the transition and align them with the business strategy.

The in-between

Most types of organizational change don’t fit neatly into the transformational or adaptive buckets.

The critical significance of organizational change in a spectrum is that it lets you think about everything that falls in between transformational and adaptive change.

For example: As a startup develops, it’s likely to experience some changes that are foreseeable and incremental, as well as transformative.

An example is a shift from informal to formal management, which every startup must embark on its journey to becoming an established business.

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While the company’s approach might not change, a lot of effort will be required to manage the transition effectively.

The change management process is the practice of controlling organizational change to fruition.

When businesses are ready to implement a change, they first prepare for it, start the difference, and finally resolve it.

Steps In Organizational Change Management Process

1. Prepare the Organization for Change

The planning for a change is the essential part of the change. For your organization to successfully track and implement change, it must be equipped logistically.

Before exploring logistics, cultural preparation must first occur, which will ensure a safe atmosphere and successful implementation.

During the preparation stage, managers help employees identify and understand the need for change.

They raise awareness of the organization’s challenges or problems that are acting as forces of change and creating disappointment with the status quo.

Gaining this initial buy-in from employees who will help implement the change can remove friction and resistance.

2. Create a Change Plan

Once the organization is equipped to embrace change, leaders must create a realistic plan for introducing it.

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The project plan should include:

Goals: What are you trying to accomplish?

Key performance indicators: How will success be measured? What must be relocated? What is the existing state?

Stakeholders: Who must be involved in this change? Who needs to sign off at each stage of the project?

Scope: What should be done to push us in the direction of our goal?

3. Implement the Changes

Once you’ve drafted your plan, it’s time to implement the changes.

Depending on your initiative’s specifics, you may have to alter your company’s structure, strategies, systems, processes, employees’ behaviours, or other aspects.

When you’re rolling out an organizational change, you should empower your employees to take action and achieve the initiative’s goals. Also, you should identify and fix any roadblocks you discover.

Throughout the process, you should keep communicating the initiative’s vision to keep your team on the right track.

4. Embed Changes Within Company Culture

Once the change initiative has been completed, change managers must ensure that cultural and behavioural changes remain permanently.

It is vital for organizational change management related to processes, workflows, culture, and strategies.

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Without a good plan, employees may fall back into the “old way” of doing things, particularly in transition.

Changing a company’s culture can be difficult. To make sure changes last, companies should look to organizational structures, controls, and reward systems — they can all be powerful tools to help change stick.

5. Review Progress and Analyze Results

A change initiative is never truly finished. The end of a change effort is simply a chance to reflect on whether it was successful or not.

Conduct analysis and review, or a “project post mortem,” to see what went right and what could be improved.


In a domain where the only constant is change, the skill to lead a change initiative within your organization will separate you from the pack.

To position yourself to administer such developments in the future, start by acquiring the essential skills to prepare you for the job.

A great way to learn the tools necessary to lead on change is to take a management training course.

By doing so, you can get a handle on organizational change management basics and begin to apply your knowledge.

About the Author

Eugen Spivak is a multi-award-winning author, business strategist, and a business coach. Eugen is the founder of the Canadian Institute of International Business, an organization focused on a better way to learn business!

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