4 Common Change Management Problems (and How to Solve Them)

As you implement the change management process, you will inevitably run into some complications. Today in our blog, we’re going to take a look at four common problems you may see and how to deal with these issues.

Problem #1: Executing a Half-Formed Plan

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is jumping into change without a solid plan. Take the time at the beginning to ensure that it is well thought out. No one wants to make changes only to have to revert back to the old way because the organization jumped into change before it was ready. As you think about these changes, it’s best to start with the smallest adjustments that will make the biggest impact.

Problem #2: Resistance to Change

This is the most common obstacle you’ll have to overcome. People fear change, so you’ll have your work cut out for you convincing the doubters that these changes are what’s best for your organization. Below are some suggestions on how to overcome this resistance.


      Maybe even more than change, people fear the unknown. They need to know what’s happening and what’s expected of them. Keep the vision at the front of people’s minds by talking about it frequently.

      Make sure they understand the need for change through storytelling. For them to buy into these changes, they must see the need for the changes. Describe possible scenarios to illustrate how important these changes will be.

      Build Trust

      People in the organization need to believe that they are capable of making these changes and that the changes are what’s best for the organization. Remind them of past successes that they or the company have had, and tie these to the trust you’re placing in them and the organization.

      Discuss what’s happening in an open and honest way, especially when listening to concerns people have about these changes.

      Don’t impose change. Involve people in decisions that will affect them, and allow them to communicate their own thoughts and ideas about changes that need to be made. This will make them feel more invested in the new vision.

      Arrange for any new training that needs to be done. People don’t want to admit that they don’t have the new skills that will be needed to accommodate these changes. Alleviate these worries by ensuring that they will.

      Celebrate Wins - Big and Small

      When people see successes, they’ll be more motivated to work toward the overall vision of change the company has. These can be small victories, especially at the beginning. 

      Show how these successes are positively affecting the organization.

      Recognize and reward those that are involved in meeting these goals.

Problem #3:  Not Having a Flexible Plan

Make sure your change for plan isn’t written in stone.  You need to be able to adjust the plan as needed. You should also be open to making changes to the organization’s hierarchy, processes, and procedures.

Problem #4:  The Need to Make Adjustments to Your Change Coalition

In last week’s post, we discussed the need for a powerful change coalition. This is a group of people in your organization that are good leaders and will help guide the change. You may need to make adjustments to this group as time passes. Perhaps you need to add members for the greatest impact. Or you might need people from different areas of the organization. Maybe the makeup of the group is perfect, but they need to be more emotionally committed to these changes.  Whatever the case may be, be aware of the situation and ready to adjust as needed.


While this is certainly not a complete list, hopefully it at least gives you an idea of some of the issues you may encounter during the process of making changes to your organization. Being aware of the possibility of these problems can help you plan and prepare to conquer them.


Have you run into other problems that didn’t make our list? 

How did you solve them?