Barriers to change and innovation

Identify the barriers to change and innovation in the organisation


The two main barriers to change can be categorised as people and finance. Part of the change process is managing people and their reactions to the change process. Change in the workplace is about modelling human behaviour and this may cause staff to feel insecure and cause feelings of uncertainty and confusion.

The financial side of change is usually managed in a logical and rational manner while the people side of change is unpredictable. This may cause staff to resist change, they believe it may be a risk to their relationships and require them to break away from their existing mind sets and to modify their current behaviour.

Some of the reasons people resist change is when:

  1. They have not been consulted and don’t feel part of the change
  2. Poor or no communication of the change process
  3. The reason for the change is unclear
  4. The benefits and rewards are not seen as adequate for the trouble involved
  5. People are stuck in their ways and find change difficult.

Also one common barrier to change in organisations is a leader or manager that is not open to new ideas. This can negatively impact on staff, growing their already negative attitude to change.

There are other barriers to change that we have also identified, these are –

  1. Money \ Funding for change
  2. Time – no time set aside to implement change
  3. Risk – Risk to existing services whilst change is being implemented
  4. Technology – Available and staff trained
  5. Compliance – Government legislative \ NHS Policies
  6. Sufficient resource available to implement change.
  7. Poor planning
  8. Poor communication

Three of these in more detail are –

  1. Money \ Funding for change – Lack of working capital in an organisation can prevent it from introducing change that is necessary to stay ahead of competitors or merely survive as a business. From an NWIS perspective this would mean we are unable to deliver a service or an existing service is not has efficient as it could be, which may cost us more in the longer term. Without proper funding the change cannot be completed.
  2. Poor planning – Without step-by-step planning, change in an organisation is likely to fall apart or cause more problems than benefits. You need to understand exactly what changes will take place and how those changes will occur otherwise you will face serious barrier to your change. With no plan, you have no idea if you have sufficient resource to complete the tasks or the resource you have is not utilised fully. This will lead to deadlines being missed, extra expense and ultimately change process failure. Also with such poor planning you will encounter resistance from employees and a poor working atmosphere.
  3. Poor communication – In organisations where management keep employees in the dark to change, potentially face barriers to change. Employees may interpret this as a conspiracy against them inevitably leading to an unfriendly atmosphere to work in. If employees don’t understand the change that is being forced upon them they are almost certainly going to encounter resistance to change. Communication at the wrong level or format can be a barrier to change, for example a large company merger is simply communicated via an email message with no further feedback or questions answered. Not engaging with employees will leave them feeling insecure and are desperately seeking clarity. With such poor communication it is very likely that rumours will start to spread inaccurate information throughout the organisation fuelling resistance to the change.

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