The Dark Side of Organisational Change: How to Spot Signs of Failure and Take Action

CoachHub · 24 January 2023 · 7 min read

At some point in a company’s growth, there may be a need for some form of organisational transformation. It is the art of changing or overhauling the preexisting company culture in order to achieve a specific goal or compete better on the market. When done right, organisational transformation can be very good for a company. It can be a very exciting process that heralds a new era for an organisation. Organisational transformation can be of different types depending on the specific needs and goals of the company. In most cases, organisational transformation is that boost the company needs to perform better. However, care must be taken to ensure that the process doesn’t get botched.

Not all organisational transformations achieve the required result. Some may do more harm than good at the end of the day. This is why it is important to carry out periodic checks and evaluations at every step to ensure that the needs of the company are being addressed. It is not enough to just decide to transform your company’s culture, you need to be actively involved in the process to ensure that all the right boxes are checked.

A failed organisational transformation process doesn’t just occur overnight. Half the time, the signs are there and they could range from employee resistance to lack of enthusiasm. Discovering these signs early will help you avoid a likely collapse and save your company from failure.

Organisational transformation processes can be revolutionary for any company but for it to be successful, all hands need to be on deck.

Common signs of failing transformation

As said earlier, a failed transformation process doesn’t just materialise overnight. There are often signs at the beginning and in the middle that point to a problem in the process. This is why you need to be attentive to all the factors involved.

A. Lack of employee engagement

Even though employee engagement is a term that has been used with workplace terminology for several years, many managers and business owners are still unable to incorporate it. For some managers, they just don’t see the point of involving their employees in the organisational processes. As they deal with the overall market, they may feel that there is just no time to be involved in employee engagement. This can be dangerous for a company on the verge of undergoing an organisational transformation process.

Human resources are a core part of the success of any organisation. Many times, the involvement of employees can spell the difference between success and failure for a company. A mark of a good leader is the ability to communicate effectively with employees and keep them involved.

For any transformation process to be successful, the employees need to be involved and aware of the process. Otherwise, it could become difficult to properly implement changes in the workplace culture. In addition, the employees may start to feel like their contributions do not matter, leading to poor quality of work that may affect the company’s growth. For a company hoping to undergo a successful organisational transformation process, lack of employee engagement can be very detrimental.

B. Resistance to change

In many ways, resistance to change is a direct result of lack of employee engagement. It can manifest itself in different ways and it has several effects on the organisational transformation process of a company. Resistance can occur in many forms and it could be planned or unplanned. In some instances, it isn’t even overt. No matter what form the resistance takes, it can have very negative effects on the growth and transformation process of an organisation.

Conflicts are more likely to occur among employees and may even occur between employees and managers. Workers also become less motivated to perform well or cooperate with the changes that are implemented. All of this wastes valuable time and disrupts the transformation process. In many cases, this resistance may completely halt the process, thereby defeating the purpose of implementing a change in the work culture. This is why it is important to communicate properly with employees to ensure that they are kept abreast of changes and that they understand the reasons behind certain actions.

C. Inadequate planning and execution

It is impossible for complete positive change to occur in an organisation without proper planning. Many negative consequences can arise from the absence of proper research and planning before embarking on organisational transformation. In the first place, you need to understand your existing workplace culture and dynamic before deciding on the kind of transformation that should take place. Lack of understanding will make it difficult to plan properly, leading to very poor productivity at the end of the day. Not to mention that the process could end up being a waste of time.

Let’s say for example, a company needs to implement a structural change, lack of proper planning could lead the managers to believe that they need a process change. This would be like putting a square peg in a round hole. It doesn’t do anything at the end of the day except to waste valuable time and resources that could have been better utilised.

D. Inadequate leadership

A good leader is one who is able to properly engage and communicate with employees at different stages. In several ways, many of the factors that lead to a failed transformation process stem from inadequate leadership. A leader who is unable to involve employees or properly execute desired changes would be faced with potential failure of the organisational transformation process.

It is also important to lead by example. Employees are less likely to embrace change if the leaders do not do so themselves. A company that has an incompetent leader would find it very difficult to advance and change with the times.

Inadequate leadership creates an environment where employees do not feel heard and become unwilling to participate fully in the organisational process. This impedes implementation of changes and makes it harder for a company to cope with or address potential problems.

organizational change

Digital coaching as a tool for organisational transformation

Digital coaching is a process that helps companies identify problem areas in their work culture and develop skills to properly implement changes. Digital coaching helps company leaders and employees alike to improve their productivity by providing insights into methods that can be beneficial in organisational transformation. Many times, what we need is a neutral third party to observe the overall situation and point out things we may have missed. Digital coaches help us learn skills that make us more equipped to handle and execute changes in the workplace.

Digital coaching has been very effective in recent years because it has helped to improve flexibility and scalability for many organisations. This means that both time and resources can be properly utilised to achieve the organisation’s goals and achieve results that benefit both the company and its clients in the long run.

An example of a company that has used digital coaching to ease their organisational transformation process is ASICS. Through digital coaching, ASICS has been able to come up with programmes that helped them understand both employees and clients better. This made it possible to properly execute ideas and maximise profits within the organisation.


Addressing the signs of failing transformation

One of the most important things to remember is that organisational transformation is not something that can be done on a whim. It requires proper planning and engagement to achieve desired results. This is where digital coaching comes in.

Digital coaching can help to develop better leadership skills that provide company leaders with resources to better manage and implement organisational change. They are also able to discover ways to properly plan and execute the changes while communicating with employees and listening to feedback at different steps.

It would be very difficult to figure out how best to carry out changes in a company if there isn’t continuous monitoring and evaluation at different stages. Periodic evaluation helps to point areas that may have been missed in the beginning. This makes it easier to curb future problems and create a more streamlined organisational transformation process.

Coaching as a key lever for success in organisational transformation

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At the end of the day, organisational transformation is not an easy process but it is essential for the growth and success of any organisation. This is why it is imperative to properly monitor the process to prevent the occurrence of negative surprises that may cause the process to fail. Proper research needs to be conducted so that negative signs can easily be noticed and curved before they get out of hand.

It is necessary to properly study all aspects of organisational transformation before embarking on the process so that you can be fully prepared. Digital coaching exists to help to acquire skills that will be useful when confronted with signs of failing transformation.

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Samuel Olawole
Samuel Olawole is a freelance copywriter and content writer who specialises in creating exciting content across a wide range of topics and industries. When he’s not writing, you can find him travelling or listening to good music.

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