No business or corporate entity can expect to keep doing things in exactly the same way and stay successful. In fact, if certain changes are not applied in a timely manner, it’s not only their success that is on the line but their very existence. In a world where technology changes at the speed of light, and consumer behaviour fluctuates as interests, tastes and needs evolve, it is vital for every business to keep their finger on the pulse and adapt with the requirements of their users. This necessitates the need for effective change management in an organisation.
While we can all appreciate the importance and value of evolving the ways we do things over time, change does tend to inspire some common reactions among people. These can include but are not limited to feelings of uncertainty and/or loss, being self-conscious, feeling alone or isolated, and focusing on what they have to give up. It’s human nature to want to defend or shield oneself against these uncomfortable feelings.
The successful and effective implementation of any meaningful changes must be managed with care and intent. No matter the industry, people are involved in changes, and people have a wide range of reactions to these changes. These need to be considered, as changes require the trust and buy-in of all parties involved in order to be truly effective.
Effective change management provides an organisation with the roadmap, the steps/actions, and the ways to measure the outcomes to ensure a successful transition. While it can differ from one organisation to the next, the process of change management typically includes:
Change management should always start with a defined objective. What is it that the organisation is aiming to achieve? All other steps depend on the clarity provided by an explicit goal. This is needed to create the plan and to ensure effort stays on track and delivers the necessary results.
In a typical organisation, there will be several stakeholders that are responsible for either directing or financing the required change (or both), such as directors and other members of upper management. The required changes must be presented in the form of a proper business plan to secure their buy-in and support.
With a clear objective and a commitment from the stakeholders, a detailed strategy has to be created next. This will identify the current position of the business, the defined objective, and the roadmap to get from the one to the other.
Once the plan has been identified, the necessary resources, including funding, people, and time, must now be made available and committed to the specific tasks they are responsible for. Without dedicated resources, changes will not be implemented effectively, and time and money will go to waste.
Resources cannot be assigned and used without limitation. To warrant a resource, there needs to be a demonstrable return on investment. Ensure that data is made available and guidelines are in place to evaluate the investments and effort made.
Communication is key. To get everybody to buy-in and work towards a shared objective, every person needs to be informed of the expectations, the reasons why these changes are happening, where they can find support, and how the process is progressing.
Effective change management relies heavily on continuous and meaningful monitoring. To successfully navigate an environment fraught with challenges and risks, you need to always know what is happening when and where in your organisation.
Having a clear strategy with a defined goal, coupled with continuous monitoring and evaluation, allows an organisation to change or correct the course as and where necessary to ensure optimal success.
Celebrate successes along the way, as this will keep your team energised, engaged, and motivated to continue the process of change, while also reminding stakeholders of the value of the investment and their commitment.
Orgro is a trusted organisational development partner with extensive experience in helping various organisations with the planning and implementation of effective change management. Contact us to find out how we can help your organisation access its full potential.
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