Just launched: Enterprise Change Management Platform


Why Changes Fail

What lessons can we learn from changes that did not succeed?

This module introduces the reasons why achieving sustained changes within organizations is difficult. It emphasizes the importance of managing the human aspects in order to ensure that change initiatives are successful.



12 page facilitator guide
4 engaging training activities
25 slide presentation deck
03:00 min summary video
18 handouts
7 resources in reading guide



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Materials included


Summary Video


Explains concepts in a concise, memorable manner. Includes a bulleted summary at the conclusion and matching job-aid handout PDF.


Facilitation Guide


Comprehensive yet easy-to-follow instructions for facilitating workshops with the above training activities. Includes useful tips and sample answers to questions. No expertise in the topic area is required.


Presentation Slide Deck


For use during workshops in both PDF & editable PPT formats. Slide numbers for each activity are referenced in the Facilitation Guide.


Reading Guide


Useful for participants wishing to deep dive into the module topic with links to the web's best articles, books and tools. PDF format.


Activity Handouts

Everything you need to facilitate successful training activities.

  • Commitment to change postcards
  • Job-aid summary
  • Lessons Learned worksheet
  • Risk assessment worksheet
  • Terminology flash cards
  • Chilly Chilli Scenario – A Risky Business
  • Chilly Chilli Scenario – Lessons Learned
  • Risk assessment worksheet example for Chilly Chilli
  • Gidget Widget Scenario – A Risky Business
  • Gidget Widget Scenario – Lessons Learned
  • Risk assessment worksheet example for Gidget Widget
  • Glenvale Scenario – Lessons Learned
  • Glenvale Scenario – Risky Business
  • Risk assessment worksheet example for Glenvale
  • Risk assessment worksheet example for Sleepyville
  • Sleepyville Scenario – A Risky Business
  • Sleepyville Scenario – Lessons Learned


Tools & Templates

Used during training activities. These can also be used for change implementation.

  • Personal lessons from change worksheet
  • Risk assessment template


This module will activate your organization to:

  • communicate the contribution that change activities make to long-term organizational success when requesting resources from senior leaders
  • warn organizational leaders of the poor outcomes that many organizations suffer when they fail to engage their people effectively through change initiatives
  • consider the metaphor of ships being lost at sea whilst enroute to their destination, highlighting the importance of an active, thoughtful and considered approach to managing changes
  • promote a clear understanding of the nature of the risks involved in successfully implementing an organizational change initiative
  • reinforce the importance of the active sponsorship of senior leaders in successful change
  • brief managers and supervisors on the importance of their involvement in change initiatives
  • remind leaders of the importance of reinforcing the change and cementing it into the organization’s culture after the bulk of a change initiative’s activities are completed
  • appreciate the importance of the discipline of change management and the role that organizational change practitioners play in ensuring positive outcomes
  • contextualize the role that change managers play in helping organizations to shift how they operate to students and others unfamiliar with change management

This module will empower your teams and individuals to:

  • understand why the majority of change efforts do not fully achieve their objectives
  • recognize common challenges that organizations undergo in change initiatives
  • be aware that the human aspect of change is a crucial element in successful change management
  • understand the importance of measuring progress throughout and after the implementation of a change initiative in order to help determine its effectiveness

This module is ideal for use at this stage of change implementation:

Pre-implementationDuring ImplementationPost-implementation

Training Activities


Summary Video & Discussion

TARGET AUDIENCE: All learners SUGGESTED TIMING: 30 - 45 minutes

The module subject-matter is introduced using a short animated video. The knowledge-check and personal reflections questions are then used to explore learners’ understanding and experience before moving on to other connected activities.

Facilitators can make use of a range of techniques such a brainstorming or debates to explore knowledge check questions.

Use examples of learners’ experiences in the supplementary activity which follows.


A Risky Business

TARGET AUDIENCE: All learners SUGGESTED TIMING: 30 - 45 minutes

Risk-assessing a change initiative is an important part of understanding why it may fail and preventing it from doing so. The aim of this activity is to guide people through a short risk assessment and help them identify the risks of common types of change initiatives. When reviewing people’s risk assessments, bear in mind that the largest cause of change failure is a failure of engagement and adoption of the change by members of the organization.


Distributed Leadership


This activity is based on Nick Obolensky’s experiment demonstrating complex leadership. In preparation you may wish to view a video of Nick’s experiment:


The purpose of the activity is to demonstrate to people that situations are often too complex for one person to manage authoritatively. People are often better able to achieve a change if responsibility for that change is distributed amongst them and they feel involved and empowered.


Learning the Lessons

TARGET AUDIENCE: All learners SUGGESTED TIMING: 45 - 60 minutes

This activity guides learners through a Lessons Learned exercise, either based on a change initiative they already have experience of, or the generic scenarios.

Learners should work in groups and the activity should end with each group presenting its lessons to the other groups and receiving feedback from their fellow learners.



Compatibility Guide

This module will boost engagement levels during the following change methodology stages:

Change Management MethodologyStage / phase
AIM (Accelerated Implementation Methodology)Build Change Agent Capability
Prosci Enterprise Change Management ModelStrategy
Bridges Leading Transition Model for ChangeThe Neutral Zone
Beckhard and Harris Change Management ProcessEstablishing the need for change
John Kotter Eight Step Model for ChangeEstablish a sense of urgency
The Change Leader’s Roadmap modelPhase I – Prepare to Lead the Change
Kubler Ross Change Curve ModelShock
LaMarsh Change Management ModelPlan and Prepare the Change
People Centered Implementation (PCI) ModelShared Change Purpose
Viral Change Roadmap ModelDiscovery
General Electric Change Acceleration Process (CAP)Monitoring progress