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The 7 Challenges of Change

The Management Centre

When organisations are experiencing change, we’re often called upon to help smooth the transition using various tools, techniques and training programmes to address the challenges. So you’d think that now things are changing here at =mc, we must be excited, full of beans and finding it all plain sailing, right?

Not exactly.  Just because we understand change and are very clear on how to manage it, that doesn’t mean we find it easy. Like you, we have our own wobbles and concerns and have to work hard to support each other and actually use the tools we teach to others when the change-fears creep in. We’re human after all!

So what we have learnt?

Over the last few months, the following insights have proven extremely helpful – 7 common change challenges, and what to do about them:

1. I don’t like change – how on earth am I going to convince anyone else to like it…?

With change now an inevitable part of working life, managing it well for both your organisation and your team has become a core managerial competence. But for many people – including us – change means uncertainty, anxiety and stress. The first thing to do is identify what it is that you don’t like, and then decide your approach. Read the top 5 worries here

2. I don’t understand it myself, how am I meant to explain it to my team?

Change is such an all-encompassing word. It can mean changing a policy, restructuring a team, moving office, a change in leadership, or even taking a whole new direction. Figuring out why change happens is the first step in understanding change yourself and being able to articulate it to others. See this article for four simple drivers of change and see if you can spot what is happening in your organisation: How can I engage people in my change?

3. Everybody has their own opinion on change – how do I handle that?

Most leaders promote the organisational benefits when communicating change to staff. But not everyone judges the impact of things through organisational perspectives. Naturally, people look at changes and how they affect them at a personal level – and so you can get different reactions to change. To manage this successfully, it’s essential to reflect on how individuals in the organisation will react or respond to your change announcement. Be prepared and plan an approach for each of the 5Cs… Read the 5Cs of change response

4. I’m not clear on what my role is in change, so how can I help others with change?

Organisational change requires different roles and responsibilities. For change to be successful, well managed and to stick, it is really important to understand who is responsible for what during this time. From there, you can begin to diagnose what you can do to support your teams, your colleagues, and even your bosses. See our guiding principles here: Change and the role of L&D

5. But I want the change to happen! So why is it going wrong?

When you have an idea for change and are excited about implementing it, it’s incredibly frustrating when no-one else seems to want to make it happen. Begin by addressing what kind of emotions you’re being shown: are you seeing apathy? Anarchy? Anger? Then find out why people might feel this way, and how you can get back on track read this: Why is my change process failing?

6. Change is awesome, it is how we stay ahead and innovate – what are you all on about?

Innovation is critical to getting and staying ahead. However, innovation often comes unstuck once people realise it also involves change. No radical innovation can get off the ground without engaging people and helping them find ways to implement it. Maybe you need a bit of change management as well as innovative thinking. This article will help: Innovation or Change?

7. Changing one thing isn’t enough – we need a culture overhaul (and that just feels too hard)

Sometimes, change is really, really BIG. A new strategy, a new direction, a new way of working. All of these are both helped and hindered by organisational culture. But changing culture feels like trying to push water uphill. Such large scale change can be daunting, Don’t worry – we have a tool for that too: Culture eats strategy for breakfast

What’s next?

Whatever you need when it comes to your worries about change we can help. And we are more than happy to share our experience of change with you. Whether you need to lead change, manage change, support others through change or even learn to manage change for yourself. See our programmes on Change below or email

=mc training programmes on change

Leading and managing change

Change and me

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Yvette Gyles

About Yvette Gyles

Yvette specialises in leadership, personal effectiveness, change and innovation. Before joining =mc, she worked in HR for several years in both the private and charity sector as an HR...