Change management is a crucial part of any organisation, but unfortunately, not all change management efforts are successful. In fact, some are downright disastrous. Here are some of the worst change management examples we've seen:
The infamous "New Coke" debacle. In 1985, Coca-Cola decided to change the formula of their iconic beverage. The response from consumers was overwhelmingly negative, and within months, Coca-Cola was forced to bring back the original formula.
The "open office" trend. Many companies have embraced the open office concept, where employees work in a shared, collaborative space. Unfortunately, studies have shown that open offices can decrease productivity and increase distractions, leading to unhappy employees and a decrease in overall productivity.
The "all-hands" email. When a major change is happening in an organisation, some leaders may choose to send out a company-wide email explaining the change. Unfortunately, these emails can often be confusing, poorly written, and filled with corporate jargon, leaving employees more confused than ever.
The "rebranding" disaster. When a company decides to rebrand, they may end up with a logo or slogan that is confusing or even offensive. Remember when Tropicana tried to change their packaging and ended up with a design that looked like a generic store brand? Not a great look.
Change management can be a tricky business. Implementing changes can lead to unforeseen consequences, and sometimes, the results can be downright hilarious. Here are some of the worst change management examples that will leave you scratching your head and laughing out loud.
The "Office Space" Printer Smash
In the classic movie "Office Space," the main character, Peter Gibbons, becomes so fed up with his office printer that he takes it out to a field and smashes it to bits with a baseball bat. While this may be a satisfying way to deal with printer issues, it's probably not the best change management strategy.
The "Blockbuster" Blunder
Remember Blockbuster? Once a dominant force in the video rental industry, Blockbuster failed to adapt to changes in technology and consumer behaviour. By the time they tried to shift their business model to streaming services, it was too little, too late, and Blockbuster became a relic of a bygone era.
The "Microsoft" Makeover
In 2012, Microsoft decided to update its operating system, releasing Windows 8 with a new user interface that was designed for touch screens. However, users were confused and frustrated by the new interface, and sales of Windows 8 were dismal. Microsoft eventually released Windows 10, which returned to a more traditional interface, but not before becoming the butt of many jokes in the tech world.
The "Netflix" Nightmare
In 2011, Netflix decided to split its DVD-by-mail service and streaming service into two separate entities, creating Qwikster for DVD rentals. Customers were outraged, and the move was widely criticised.