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From Chaos to Clarity: Tackling Complexity in Organizational Change

Organizational change can be hard, which is why there are so many quotes, approaches, and (let’s face it) cliches about it. In our blog, The Four Cs to Consider When Selecting an Organizational Change Management Partner we provided an overview of the factors (cost, capability, capacity, and complexity) an organization should consider when choosing an organizational change management (OCM) partner.  

Here, we’ll dig deeper into what we mean by the “complexity” factor because implementing long-lasting organizational change can be a beast. Even the word “complex” can have many different meanings.  

Four factors that influence the complexity of change management 

1. The human element

The more people a given change impacts, the more complex the effort becomes. Part of navigating this complexity involves managing the personalities and perspectives of the individuals in your organization. Consider the following:  

  • How many people are in the organization being impacted?  
  • What is the level of diversity of language and culture?  Are there international considerations? 
  • How emotionally intelligent are the members of not only your organization, but also your change implementation team? 

2. Communication 

A lack of communication can make any change management initiative complicated, regardless of the size of an organization. Not only do you need to “do” the change part of OCM, you need to communicate change clearly and consistently to ensure all audiences understand how the change will impact them, why it’s being implemented in the first place, and to address concerns and reduce confusion. Consider the following:  

  • Will these changes spark employee uncertainty or feelings of instability?  
  • Has, or will, leadership clearly illustrate support and communicate that support for OCM? 
  • Are the reasons for the change clearly communicated and understood? 
  • How consistent are the messages around the purpose of the change? 

 3. Culture

Managing change means aligning the proposed changes with the existing culture, or in some cases, reshaping the culture to support the desired change. Consider the following:  

  • Will these change initiatives change in the balance of power? 
  • What is the current company culture like? Has it shown signs of resistance to change? 

4. Scope

For companies that have six or seven transformation efforts, it takes a village to accomplish that work. No one person can handle all of the different variables within change initiatives across multiple projects. Consider the following:  

  • How many tasks are associated with different change initiatives? 
  • What is the timeline for the OCM plan? 
  • Across how many locations and departments will this change be implemented? 
  • How will you track OCM progress? Do you have the capability of tracking? 

Based on these complexity considerations, as well as the other Cs to Consider When Selecting an Organizational Change Management Partner it boils down to this: The more complex your change initiative, the more important it is to partner with an organization that specializes in OCM.  

The Judge Group can scale our resources to tackle several initiatives simultaneously and has a breadth of experience managing what makes change so complex. This gives organizations the flexibility they need to keep their change efforts on track. 

No matter your issue, whether complexity, capability, capacity or cost, The Judge Group can help navigate your organizational change needs. Learn more about our organizational change management capabilities, and reach out to our OCM experts to discuss possible solutions.