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Article: The Challenges of Change Related Resources

The Challenges of Change
by Duncan Brodie

In life and business we face constant change. Our ability to adapt to new circumstances, new challenges or opportunities has a real bearing on what we achieve. Yet in truth there are many challenges when it comes to change.


The starting point for any change is desire. The desire might be to:

* Reverse an adverse situation

* Exploit a gap in the market for a product or service

* Position yourself for a senior post where you can make a real impact

* Lose weight

Unless you have that desire or hunger to achieve, making change will be a real challenge.


Change can be tough. It takes commit to make and sustain change. In the business world it is claimed that as few as 3 in every 10 changes are sustainable. It is easy to start with lots of enthusiasm. Staying focussed and committed is where many folks fall short.


We all have doubts, fears, worries or anxieties. When contemplating change these appear in abundance. If we start with the belief that change is possible, worthwhile and beneficial then we stand a much better chance of achieving.

Know How

Change is something we are just expected to do. While all of us are adaptable, less of us have had the experience and learning of making major sustainable changes. Taking a little time to learn about change and to step out of our normal comfort zone can help us to build our know how.


Few people relish change. Given the choice, most people will either resist or avoid. We resist change for a whole host of reasons yet overcoming resistance is essential if any change is to be made.

Silo Thinking

Silo thinking is a particular problem in business, where turf wars might start to develop between departments or divisions of a company. People stop thinking about the bigger picture and start seeking ways of protecting their own area. The focus is all on avoiding the threat. This blocks creativity and can result in opportunities being missed.

Moving Goalposts

This can be a particular challenge where making changes in public bodies, where political influences can result in frequent changes in direction. In these situations it is important to keep the focus on the bigger picture.

Risk and Reward

Any change requires a change in behaviours and new ways of thinking. It also requires some risk. The challenge is that some organisations do not create the environment that encourages some risk taking. Alternatively, risk taking might be encouraged but not rewarded. It is important to align risk and reward when it comes to making change.

In truth there are numerous challenges in making change. Being aware of them is the first step towards making sustainable change.

Duncan Brodie may be contacted at
Duncan Brodie works with professionals and progressive public and private sector organisations who want to develop their management and leadership capability. Sign up for his free e-course and monthly newsletter at


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