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Written and published by Miranda Wheatley Price
Director of Organisational Change

Building the business case and rationale for the change required

Mid to long range strategies will require some level of change(s), and ineffectively managing this change is the reason why 70% of business strategies fail. Why? Because leaders find it difficult to manage the change that bridges the gap between strategy creation and implementation along with addressing the needs and conflicts of impacted employees and change project teams.

To successfully initiate any change, building the business case and rationale for ‘why’ change needs to happen is the critical first step in bridging that gap. In fact, organisations who do this well are more effective in managing change and are 3.5 times more likely to outperform industry peers.

Book a slot with a change management consultant to learn more about planning for change. BOOK NOW.

3 steps to build a robust business case and change management plan

As a change management consultancy, we advise businesses across sectors on initiating and managing a wide range of change initiatives. Irrespective of the nature of the change, we find addressing 3 initial areas will support the development of an effective change management plan:

1. Why change? Share the rationale.

Leaders and change champions need to quickly and regularly communicate the case for a change by clearly outlining answers to 3 critical questions : 

  1. What is the nature of the change?
  2. Why is this change needed?
  3. How will it benefit the stability of the organisation and individual (at both an employee and customer level)?

Initial interest and awareness does not translate into  ongoing engagement therefore the change plan needs to address regular communications focused on these questions. An effective way of addressing these key points is to develop an Employee Value Proposition (EVP).  An EVP defines the ‘deal’ for change and how it’ll benefit employees and business as a whole. Companies who do this effectively are proven to be 3 times more likely to be successful as they focus on the behaviours that drive progression (rather than programme cost). 

DOWNLOAD: Develop your own employee value proposition (EVP) download our EVP template.

2. Don’t just tell…involve!

Our work as a change management consultancy has found change management plans that rely on town hall meetings and online communications as prime mechanisms for change, don’t effectively address concerns or sufficiently involve people when the risk to dis-engagement is high . To overcome this, our research and work in multiple change projects has highlighted the need to recognise initial emotional responses to change announcements and plan to involve people early through pre-agreed mechanisms.

Table 1 provides a simple summary of how the nature of the change influences communication and engagement owners and engagement mechanisms: 

Change Table

“[Our research has proven] the characteristics of the restructuring process, such as fairness of procedures, communication and change management in general have been found to have an impact on worker well-being [and retention]...The key point is how you manage the change. Make sure people have control over their jobs, that there is good communication and the right kind of training.” 

Professor Nielsen, Norwich Business School

3. Roadmap the plan and give permission.

In our experience as a change management consultancy, change initiatives and change management plans need to be led from the top. To do this effectively, we recommend generating a ‘General Manager Mandate’ to:

  1. Articulate what will happen if this change doesn’t happen and what opportunities exist for it happening quickly. This will create a sense of urgency for the change.
  2. Break the change down into small, digestible chunks so it is deemed achievable. Sharing the change vision without a roadmap will be daunting for many, and will appear unmanageable and thus un achievable.
  3. Give people permission to allocate time and resource to support the change. Too many initiatives are launched on the assumption that it can just be ‘added on’ to people’s day jobs. When this happens, change slips as ‘business as usual’ activities take priority. 


By addressing these 3 fundamental areas, leaders can create a case for change and align engagement mechanisms which quickly builds an understanding and acceptance.

You are now ready to initiate the next step of your change management plan – building change readiness and activating your initiative. 

Rubica is a change management consultancy. 
Learn more about our organisational change work. Click here.


The Economist