How do I convince my leadership team to invest in change?

Whether you embrace or resist it, change enters our lives like a relentless tide. Luckily, your organization doesn’t have to brave the storm alone.

With the right business case, you will be able to convince decision-makers to take a leap of faith in the hands of a change manager. In this blog post, we will help you understand the why and how behind creating a business case for change.

Table of content

    Why you need a business case

    The foundation of your business case for change management

    Five key reasons to hire a change manager

    Calculate the impact of change managers

    Why you need a business case

    A business case is a structured document that outlines the justification for initiating a project or making an investment – in this case, hiring a change manager. It serves as a tool to evaluate the potential benefits, costs, risks, and other relevant factors associated with the proposal. 

    Some leaders hesitate to hire an experienced change manager due to misconceptions about costs, the role’s necessity, or the ability of internal resources to handle it. This hesitance often comes from a lack of understanding about what change management actually entails, and what’s needed to make a transformation succeed.

    But change management is not a luxury; it’s a strategic investment. A dedicated change manager brings a unique skill set that is highly needed in times of transformation. When you create a well-constructed business case, you can educate and convince decision-makers to invest in change management. 

    “Initiatives with excellent change management are 7 times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management.”

    (Prosci, 2023)

    The foundation of your business case for change management

    Before you start compiling the business case, take a moment to think about your target audience. Figuratively step into their shoes. What types of arguments will convince them? 

    When talking to top management, try to connect the ‘people side of change’ to their ability to reach strategic goals and mitigate financial risks. If you’re dealing with project managers, the discussion should be geared towards the successful (OTIF, On-Time-In-Full) delivery of their projects.

    Now that we’ve determined our core focus, let’s dive into the key components of a business case:

    1. Executive Summary:
    Give a concise overview of the main points, goals, and outcomes of the proposed project.

    2. Rationale:
    Describe the reasons behind the project. Why is change needed, and why NOW?

    3. Project:
    Outline the scope and objectives of the project. Explain what is included and excluded from the initiative.

    4. Financial analysis:
    Present the anticipated costs and benefits of hiring an experienced change manager.

    5. Risk assessment:
    Identify the potential risks and challenges that could hinder the success of the project. Consider presenting a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats).

    6. Timeline and Schedule:
    Give an estimate of the timeline for the project’s various phases and milestones, providing a clear overview of its expected duration.

    7. Conclusion:
    Give a summary of the recommendations and arguments on the proposed project. Consider adding appendices to include supportive data, such as graphs, charts or references.

    By incorporating these components, your business case gains a solid foundation and becomes a powerful tool for advocating the role of a change manager. To strengthen the case even further, we listed key reasons for hiring a change manager.

    5 key reasons to hire a change manager

    Faster adoption of change, reduced resistance, cost savings… these are just a couple of reasons to make the investment. When writing your business case, make sure you include the following key reasons to hire a change manager.

    1.Change Managers speed up the adoption of change

    Just because your leadership team decides to launch a change initiative, doesn’t mean employees will automatically adopt the new way of working. Change managers play a pivotal role in facilitating a smooth transition for employees. They assist employees in understanding the need for change and how it will impact their work.

    By providing support and guidance throughout the change process, change managers can help employees adapt more quickly to the new way of working, which can lead to increased productivity and efficiency.

    2. Change Managers reduce the resistance to change

    Change can be a tough pill to swallow, and employees may resist it for various reasons. A skilled change manager is equipped to tackle these concerns head-on and reduce resistance to change. How? By measuring and analyzing the impact of the change for the different stakeholder groups and organizing the right interventions to mitigate the resistance. Like utilizing clear communication, employee involvement,, and providing training and support.

    3. Change Managers improve employee engagement

    Change managers can help ensure that employees are involved in the change process and have a voice in the decisions that affect them. This can lead to increased engagement and motivation among employees, which has a positive impact on productivity and overall job satisfaction.

    4. Change Managers can help save costs and reduce risks

    It feels contradictory right? Hiring someone to save costs. But as transformations can be resource intensive as well as business-critical, mishandling them could lead to significant financial losses. Luckily, data consistently shows that projects with excellent change management are 7x more likely to meet their objectives.
    What’s more, there is a clear correlation between excellent change management and the ability to stay on or under budget. A change manager’s expertise thus ensures that change is executed like a well-coordinated symphony, minimizing waste of valuable resources. And if the transformation is aimed at improving efficiency, the financial rewards are even greater in the long run.

    5. Change Managers create organizational agility

    In today’s VUCA world, you need to be agile, responsive, and fast like a ninja. Beyond the current change initiative, an experienced change manager can help you set up a change engine. This means you become less reactive and more proactive in the face of change. 

    As you can imagine, these reasons are all intertwined in some way or another. That’s because change managers are able to tackle change and transform organizations from different levels and perspectives. But what about the math? Convincing top management will take more than just worldly reasoning. So be prepared to crunch the numbers and create a cost-benefit analysis.

    Calculate the impact of change managers

    More than anything, the leadership team will be interested in the expected ROI – return on investment. This number is calculated by dividing the added value of an investment (benefits) by the costs involved in this investment. In this case, we need to quantify the benefits above, as well as the costs of hiring a change manager.

    Let’s look at an example. Say you’re looking to hire a change manager for a 6-month project. You’re projecting a monthly cost of €15.000 as well as an additional budget of 30K for training, events and materials. On the cost side, you’re looking at a €120.000 investment. 

    The benefit side of the equation will be trickier to quantify, but let’s give it a try. 

    In terms of adoption, Prosci suggests a method which is relatively simple: calculate the expected project benefits AND those same benefits when there is 0 adoption and usage.

    For example, you are introducing a new system which in and of itself will save the company €300.000. However, if employees are correctly using the system, the benefit for the company will be even greater: €475.000. The added value for adoption can be measured at €175.000, since this is the part which depends on great change management.


    This means that just by looking at adoption, we can already measure a positive ROI of (175.000 / 120.000 * 100) = 145%.
    But there are more benefits you can take into account. For example, there are practical ways to measure the benefits of increased employee engagement and reduced risks. By including different elements, you will create a strong case for the financial-oriented minds.

    Embrace change with a partner and increase your ROI

    To sum it up, organizations should recognize that change management is a strategic investment, not an unnecessary or ‘nice to have’ expense. A change manager brings specialized skills to navigate challenges, decrease risks, and ensure the success of transformation initiatives. Their expertise is crucial in guiding employees through uncertainty and fostering buy-in. 

    By acknowledging the long-term benefits and ROI that effective change management brings, leaders can make informed decisions and position their organizations for successful and sustainable change.

    At SPRING TODAY, we encourage you to embrace change with confidence. Reach out to us for a partnership that allows your organization to conquer challenges for now and in the future.

    Do you need help/support with your change & transformation challenges?

    SPRING TODAY provides the Change & Transformation experts who speak the language of the organization and understand the challenges and complexity of the context. They connect, create movement and set a route to “the organization of tomorrow!’’ 

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