Why is Change Management still complicated?

In a recent conversation with a new teacher of change management, we went on to compare some of the methodologies and practical application that have shown the most effective through my 30 years of experience in bringing changes to various industries.

Why is change management so complicated? Why all the resistance to change?

Change management currently defines the set of techniques to gain acceptance for changes that have already been made/ completed by “experts”.
Most large systems providers are oblivious to the reality of the business process, the number and frequency of exceptions to the “normal” process, the best way to treat these exceptions, the authority level most appropriate to take action on exceptions, etc. etc. Hence the “changes” and systems designed are ill fitted for specific business situation. Every business sells and operates differently to serve its specific market niche.
That is where CHANGE MANAGEMENT comes into play, to bring acceptance and to make the necessary changes to make the core change work in the client environment. No wonder I have yet to see a major system implementation completed on time and on budget, by almost any provider.
This is the environment where the most popular methods have been designed: Prosci method (ADKAR) and the Kotter’s 8 steps method were developed and proofed.

Prosci – Adkar method

Prosci believes that for change to work in an organization, individuals must change and understand change. Change management is to manage acceptance of the changes imposed on the organization. The first step in managing any type of organizational change is understanding how to manage change with a single individual.

ADKAR – The Prosci Acronym. ADKAR, or Prosci’s model of individual change stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement.

The Prosci method starts with the untold premise that changes designed and implemented by the “experts” are exactly what is needed. “Experts know best” . When people resist changes, it is because they either : 1- are not aware; 2- Do not want to change; 3- Do not understand the changes; 4- Lack the skills/ abilities; 5- Need reinforcement (positive and negative) to comply with changed methods.

This model is appropriate for top down imposed changes. The reinforcement part requires continued management focus and time.

Kotter’s 8 steps

Kotter’s defined 8 step process are as follows:
After changes and project have been completed….

• Establish a sense of urgency. …
• Form a powerful coalition. …
• Create a Vision. …
• Communicating the Vision. …
• Empowering others to act on the vision. …
• Planning for and creating short term wins. …
• Consolidating improvements and producing still more change. …
• Institutionalizing new approaches.

The Kotter’s 8 steps are building on group work, still designed to be applied after the core changes have been put in place.
This model takes in consideration that further changes are necessary to align the changes made with the business and the purpose of the business and work to be done.
This model uses “powerful coalition” and shared vision to make the adjustments and the “fine tuning” to the changes already implemented.

Changing Change Management : A different approach that delivers over 95% success.
Manage the risks, eliminate resistance and bullying, use team based approach


It is widely known, since Dr. Deming, that modifying products and services later in a process is more expensive and takes time causing delays in the delivery of a working product or service.
Our extensive experience with teams demonstrated the power of working together sharing a common purpose, with common goals and objectives.
We believe any organization making changes for a clear purpose that is aligned with its core purpose; better serve its clients, position to face new competitors, expand into new markets, expand capabilities for new and coming products, improve profitability etc.

Our extensive experience with teams has lead us involve teams from the inception of the changes. Starting with the purpose and goals, to develop a clear vision with cross-functional multi-level teams. These teams can clearly define the parameters of the changes required to achieve the purpose and reach the goals. Since the entire organization owns the purpose and the changes they designed, the implementation, acceptation and use are very fast, the end goals are reached months and years before the previous methods.

We propose :

Establish a clear purpose
Define a comprehensive strategy and changes required
Rally all forces (internal and external)
Identify the team(s) structure and goals (KPI’s).
Form, train, enable, support and coach team(s) – Give ownership to the teams
Share information (wins & losses)
Internalize changes and growth with team(s), recognize contributions (individuals and team(s)), Celebrate wins,
Set new goals relevant to original purpose for team(s)

Intrigued? Find out more. Lets bounce ideas over coffee or on the phone, no obligations.
Contact us at agardner@agardnerassociates.com