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Explore the 10 biggest mistakes leaders make when introducing and managing organisational change. Change is a critical aspect of management and involves the process of planning, implementing, and supporting organizational changes.

The mistakes leaders make during change

By Catherine Adenle

Change is a complex process that requires effective communication, stakeholder engagement, and a clear understanding of the needs and goals of the organization. Before we delve into the 10 biggest mistakes leaders make introducing and managing change, first, let us share some of the key findings about change management in organizations:

  • When it comes to organizational change, the role of leadership is critical to the success of change management. Why? This is because leaders play a crucial role in shaping the direction and vision of the organization and in inspiring and motivating employees to embrace change.
  • Leaders cannot circumvent communication when introducing change. This is because communication is a critical factor in the success of change management. It is essential to communicate the change effectively, the reasons for the change, who and what will be affected the benefits, and the steps involved in the change process to all stakeholders.
  • Whether a leader hates it or not, resistance to change is a natural reaction and must be anticipated and managed effectively. It is crucial to identify and address the root causes of resistance and to involve employees in the change process to increase their buy-in and commitment to the change.
  • A great organization will be change-ready because of their culture. Change management should be integrated by leaders into the overall business strategy and aligned with the organization’s values and culture.
  • The use of technology can facilitate the change process and help to automate and streamline operations. However, it is essential to consider the impact on employees and ensure they are trained and supported in using new technologies.
  • You can not measure or manage what you don’t monitor. Effective change management requires ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the change is successful and that any issues are addressed promptly.

See Change Management: Critical Skill for Leaders

The 10 biggest mistakes leaders make when introducing and managing change

Now, let’s explore the 10 biggest mistakes leaders make when introducing and managing change.

Leadership is a crucial aspect of any organizational change process. However, even the most experienced leaders can make mistakes that can derail the change management process. Here are ten common mistakes that leaders make when introducing and managing change:

1. Lack of clear communication

Leaders often fail to communicate the change effectively, leaving employees confused and resistant to change. It is essential to clearly articulate the reasons for change, its benefits, and how it will impact employees. In Prosci’s 2005 Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report, the top reason cited by participants for resistance by employees was that employees were unaware of the business need for change. So, employees must be included and are taken through the what, who, h before a change from the onset of change implementation.

See the 12 Most Effective Communication Channels for Change and the 12 Most Effective Communication Channels for Change

2. Resistance to change

Leaders may also resist change themselves, leading employees to question its importance and fight it, too.

3. Failing to involve employees

Leaders may introduce changes without involving employees, leading to a lack of buy-in and resistance. It is essential to involve employees in the change process, listen to their concerns and involve them in decision-making.

4. Underestimating the impact of change

Leaders may underestimate the effect of change on employees, processes, and systems. It is crucial to thoroughly assess the impact and plan accordingly.

5. Insufficient resources

The change may fail to provide the necessary resources, leading to delays and increased costs.

Infographic_the 10 biggest mistakes leaders make when implementing change Infographic: The 10 Mistakes Leaders Make When Introducing and Managing Change by Catherine Adenle
6. Lack of contingency plan

Leaders may not have a contingency plan in place if the change fails, leading to negative consequences.

7. Neglecting employee training

Leaders may not provide sufficient training and support to employees, leading to resistance and decreased performance.

8. Neglecting culture

Leaders may ignore the impact of change on organizational culture and values, leading to a decline in morale and increased resistance.

9. Failing to track progress

Leaders may not track change progress effectively, leading to missed deadlines and decreased motivation.

10. Lack of follow-up and reinforcement

Leaders may not follow up on changes and reinforce new behaviours, leading to a decline in commitment and a return to old habits.

In conclusion, change management requires a strategic and systematic approach. By avoiding these common mistakes, leaders can ensure a smooth and successful change management process that benefits employees and the organization.


Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

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