Business Think Tank: corporate culture biggest hurdle to change

The most recent Synthetron think-tank highlights corporate culture as biggest hurdle to change – and some relatively simple strategies to enable more efficient transformation.

The topic of the 45-minute online debate – Survival Tips for Unexpected Change, – was organised and facilitated by Synthetron in November 2017. The discussion was designed to give business leaders an insight into how people perceive and manage change, while also providing strategies to efficiently enable companies to implement transformation.

Culture: the white elephant in the room

Most of the participants identified organisational culture as the biggest stumbling block to successful change, with almost half putting this as the main hurdle that needs to be overcome by a company looking to implement any corporate adjustments.

A lack of resources, most notably time and money, were also seen as major barriers to change as they recognised that “we underestimated time and resources needed”.

Everyone agreed, “don’t assume that everyone will follow” and it is “hard to reach the last person in the change plan.”

In the think-tank report, Synthetron describes organisational culture as the “white elephant in the room”, that when combined with employees’ natural fear of change, makes transformation “hard to deliver”.

Start with a goal in mind

However, it was also clear from the conversation that there are some relatively simple tactics to enable change in a corporate environment. The responses showed overwhelmingly that the key to successful change was to start with a defined goal that was clearly communicated, along with the reasons why change is needed.

The responses also show it is vital “to build a coalition with ambassadors and senior management” who can mobilise teams through “open and regular communication”.

Other strong recommendations from the debate included a need to manage the unexpected and for all participants in the change process to learn from mistakes and to have contingency plans prepared in advance.

It is also important for organisations looking to change to ensure enough resources (including time) are allocated to the process.


Synthetron’s online business think tanks are designed to identify important insights organisations need for future success, and to make sure decision makers have access to ideas that are relevant to their business strategies.

If you want to read the entire report download it now!