Identifying and Overcoming Barriers in Change – Do you feel the “elephant in the room”?
What’s the deal with this elephant? And what’s he got to do with change? In the context of transformations, the proverb describes problems, questions or concerns that employees are not articulating and therefore remain unaddressed – these can act as barriers and stand in the way of a successful change process.
Various studies have shown that approximately 70% of change processes in companies fail. At best, change management follows a clearly structured, strategic approach that accompanies the change from start to finish. At FTI Consulting, we see the identification and removal of change barriers – which can impede, delay or even block the change – to be a crucial success factor. Unfortunately, it is a frequently underestimated step for many transformations.
When looking at a typical change process, there are generally two types of barriers. On the one hand, there are barriers that affect the fundamental requirements to enable the new target state, that set the frame for the change to be successful. These barriers can typically be steered and managed centrally. For example, central barriers may include that an organizational or departmental set-up and structure no longer corresponds to the desired target state; that your existing systems, processes, incentive and remuneration systems prevent the desired behaviors and ways of working; that you may have a gap when it comes to skills, roles and talents to reach your target state. These issues can be identified at an early stage. Corporate Functions such as Human Resources, Finance and IT need to be on board to tackle these central barriers and create the right conditions in which change can be successful.control.