What are the different types of organisational change?

Heraclitus understood it more than 2500 years ago: “the only constant in life is change”. Inevitably, this is also true for businesses, regardless of their field and size.

Change is not only part of the natural evolution of a company, but it has actually become a “must” in today’s rapidly evolving and digitalized business world.

Let’s have a closer look at the 3 main types of organisational change.

People change

Massive hiring of new workforce, significant layoffs, new behavioural policies, etc.
Such changes alter the existing dynamics significantly, as they affect the relational, emotional and influential level of the involved parties.
Managing these changes effectively requires a high level of empathy and exceptional communication skills.

Structural change

Redefinition of roles and responsibilities, upper management change, different departments being merged or one department being divided into two or more… Adaptation time, feedback from the people involved and the buy-in from managers at all levels are key factors for a structural change to be successful.

Transformational change

This is possibly THE organisational change par excellence.
A brand new company mission, a radically different strategy, a technology that suddenly revolutionizes the “usual” ways of working…
This type of organisational change entails a carefully planned change management process, inspirational leaders and effective tools to make the transition as smooth as possible.

What is a personnel change?


A change of personnel consists of an action that involves a change in the individual’s role, or a change in the person who has a certain position. It may be that the head of a company changes, or that parents are succeeded by their children in leading a company, thus inevitably causing a change in the company’s strategy and vision.

People might be promoted. For example, that colleague who once was your ideal lunch break companion, now became your department’s team leader. Your perception of your favorite colleague changes, as they have a higher position now, just like their perception of how the team works might be questioned.. Waiting in front of the coffee machine becomes different and less casual – as your relationship with each other changes, it needs to find a new balance.

During a reorg, your department might be detached from your unit and is integrated into a different operating area. Ways of working, your role, and the relationships you had with colleagues are questioned and it’s time to reinvent yourself and prove whether your skills, that were fitting the role so far, are still equally adequate.

Personnel change is certainly a process that must be approached with great patience and sensitivity at all involved levels.

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