Change management

Change management principles


You can follow some tried and tested change management principles to help you transform your business quickly and efficiently. These principles form the basis of organisational change management best practice.

What are the principles of change management?

The ten guiding principles of change management are:

  • active leadership - lead by example by accepting and embracing change or secure senior-level backing, if appropriate
  • structured approach - use the change management process and established models where possible
  • detailed change plans - specify the change you want to see and what needs to be done to achieve it
  • impact assessment - assess and address how the changes will affect your business and your people
  • strong team - involve every layer, eg executives, middle managers, project managers and make sure they keep their teams focused during the change
  • employee participation and engagement - secure buy-in from everyone involved and affected by the changes, directly or indirectly, train and incentivise your staff
  • open and regular communication - consult with staff and tell everyone what has to happen and what their role it
  • sustainability - start with small, incremental changes and build momentum as you go
  • managing resistance - identify and address common barriers to change
  • evaluating progress - identify what was good, what was bad and use this information to improve your change management practice for future projects

By following these principles, you will be able to work with many change management tools and adjust your approach according to the size and nature of the change.

Read more about the importance of communication in change management.

Main hurdles to change management

Change can be difficult, but it is important to get it right. The main hurdles include:

  • poor planning
  • lack of understanding of the cause and effects of change
  • insufficient preparation
  • hastened roll-out
  • absence of buy-in and support
  • lack of communication

The risks of poorly managed change include financial losses, missed opportunities, wasted resources and diminished staff morale and performance. With such possible consequences, it is vital to identify and avoid common barriers to organisational change management.