Beyond COVID

Part 4

Executing Change


If you have filled out your “Self-Analysis” and scored your company against the most successful companies, you are probably considering making some changes.

Change is Difficult

Simplar’s research into over 350 different organizational change initiatives demonstrates that organizational change is difficult. “The average success rate of a change effort has a 10-20% chance of accomplishing the leader’s goals.” (Simplar website) I can hear the objections: “Why would I even start? Not a good bet. I’m not backing a horse that has only a 10% to 20%  chance of even finishing the race! Let’s leave ‘well enough’ alone and muddle through with the same organization we have now.”

Change is Unavoidable


Every time you start a new project, you make changes. Most new projects involve a new location, new personnel, new time frame, new budget, new design parameters, new tools, new materials, or a new owner who may pay differently or be hard to deal with.  When you start a new project, you are, in effect, almost starting a new company.

How Do I Improve the Odds?


“It is true that the self-analysis program did identify areas in my company that I can improve. What do I need to know to improve my odds of making successful organizational changes?”

Simplar’s research has identified the following critical management functions required to execute effective organizational change in construction concerns:

  1. Know how to Lead change.
  2. Learn how to Communicate change.
  3. Train employees for change.
  4. Implement change across the entire organization.
  5. Measure and track adoption, adaption, and resistance.
  6. Sustain change through ‘generations’ of employees.


True knowledge transfer and mastery of new skills cannot be accomplished overnight. A successful approach to organizational transformation requires patience, teaching, supported learning, and sustained effort.


LEAD – Research tells us that most project level employees resist change. The owner’s clear and dedicated commitment to improving his or her company’s performance can motivate workers to cooperate with change initiatives. Owners and top management have to lead their companies through difficult organizational changes.

COMMUNICATE – Our research reveals that “buy-in” throughout an organization can only be accomplished when leadership clearly and consistently communicates their commitment to change and communicates the benefits of change that will accrue to the entire team at all levels of the organization.

TRAIN – In order for change to evolve from the conceptual to the actual, team members throughout the organization must “act” differently. In other words, they must do something different to make change occur. Thorough and consistent training is required to change how an organization conducts any aspects of its business. The complex nature of construction and the many different disciplines required to complete a construction project make real change a challenge that commitment must overcome.

IMPLEMENT – Conceiving and writing a strategic plan is the preliminary stage of real organizational change. Implementing change within an organization is a daunting task that requires “internal champions” of change at all levels of the organization.

MEASURE – An important strategy for organizations to build momentum for a change initiative is to establish clear benchmarks of the desired results and then clearly document progress throughout the organization’s transition.

SUSTAIN – Two factors are essential to sustaining change and improvement throughout a construction organization:

  1. A realistic timeframe for implementation.
  2. Consistent and persistent internal change champions that train, monitor, and motivate the workforce over time.

Persistent effort is required to accomplish the leader’s goals. You need to prepare your company for the post-pandemic “new normal” that may be off in the future but is certain to come. Start to improve – “NOW”.

Read More: For additional detail on this topic go to the Organizational Change section of The Simplar Library and Organizational Transformation Page.