How Change Management Can Change your Business
Change management (CM) is about making systematic and strategic organisational changes. It could mean improving team processes, introducing new tools and technology, or shifting business goals. Simply put, it’s any significant departure from how things are currently done.
There are different types of organisational change. Adaptive or Developmental Changes are small incremental adjustments to processes and policies over time to meet industry standards. Transitional Changes involve clear shifts away from the current status quo towards more effective options, like switching to a better e-commerce platform. Transformational Changes fundamentally shift the foundation of your business, such as expanding to new markets or introducing new products or services.
Why is a strategic approach to change management crucial for your success? Well, in today’s fast-paced world, your team needs to be ready to adapt and evolve. If change is seen as something that only happens when necessary, employees will resist it. Approaching change haphazardly will hinder implementation, and more than half of change programs fail due to resistance and lack of support. With a solid approach to change management, you can build opportunities for growth in your business, making employees less resistant and more welcoming of changes.
Developing effective change management processes has practical benefits too. You’ll have standardised workflows to follow when implementing new changes, saving you time and energy. A repeatable process allows you to focus on the specifics of your plan rather than reinventing the wheel every time. Moreover, teams with a strategic approach to Change Management are six times more likely to reach their project goals. A standardised system helps set clear goals and objectives, making it easier to gauge progress.
Another advantage of effective change management is the ability to prioritise resources. Teams with solid processes are five times more likely to implement change on schedule and twice as likely to stay within budget. With a clear plan and specific goals, you’ll know what resources are needed, how much is required, and how to use them effectively. This efficiency allows you to rationalise expenses for your team and get the most out of your resources.
Your approach to change management will also evolve over time. A standardised and systematic approach makes it easier to make targeted improvements to your processes. By keeping things as uniform as possible, you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your system and make the necessary adjustments for future initiatives.
Implementing strategic change management can be challenging, though. Employee resistance is natural and can be a major obstacle to overcome. It’s important to help employees navigate the change and address their concerns. Organisational silos can also hinder change management efforts by causing misalignment and communication issues. Ensuring your employees have the necessary capabilities to handle the changes is crucial. And managing resources efficiently is always challenging, especially when dealing with uncertainty.
So, what are the key steps of an effective change management strategy? Let’s break it down into seven steps:
- Identify the need for change: Recognise the problem and dig deep to identify the root cause.
- Define your goals: Clearly define your goals and the intended impact of the change.
- Get all stakeholders onboard: Generate buy-in from executives and employees by highlighting the benefits of the change.
- Develop your plan collaboratively: Work with your team to create a comprehensive plan, considering everyone’s input.
- Enable and implement changes as planned: Keep communication open, provide necessary resources, and manage time effectively.
- Manage change, track performance, and celebrate progress: Reinforce what being on track means, address issues promptly, and acknowledge achievements.
- Solidify changes and set the stage for future growth: Conduct a post-mortem review, learn from the experience, and prepare.