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“Change” is the only permanent issue that executives can count on these days.

Author: Carlos Carvalho | Managing Director | Great Power Consulting | IPTER Brazil

Executives today don’t have a real choice when it comes to being more agile and responsive; they need to respond to several „strategic drivers“ changes, including new organizational realities (e.g., leadership transitions, mergers, and acquisitions), technological innovations, and macroeconomic and political changes.

If frequent change has become a necessity for most companies, it has also become a challenging reality for executives trying to achieve their work goals.

It is unrealistic to believe that executives can measurably reduce the amount of change, as changes are often taken to improve the company’s performance in response to demands created by the external environment. But executives can reduce the impact of change and help the organization adapt better. To do this, executives need to think more strategically about change and manage their organization’s ability to operate in a continuously changing environment.

Continuous change is the reality of today’s organizations. Each change is committed to improving business performance, but each change also puts pressure on executives to adapt. Failure to relieve this pressure can mean a failure to capture the anticipated benefits due to performance losses related to the stress of change.

While most companies focus on building commitment to change – a positive attitude towards every change is acceptance of change in general – this approach fails to address the way in which changes disrupt employees‘ abilities to do their job. To sustain performance through change, executives must focus on helping employees rebuild broken capabilities. Employees need easy access to the tools, information, and people they need to do their jobs, be effective, and adapt to new structures, processes, rules, and roles. And they need the self-confidence to deal with new challenges.

As change has become a continuing business reality, new skills will be required from employees and their organizations. Change poses a significant business risk, and all parts of the organization should require new approaches to avoid undesirable losses while preserving the benefits of any ongoing transformation. But with the right preparation, executives can capture the benefits they’re striving for change.

It is essential to prepare employees and get them used to what is new and how it will be introduced into their work routine, thus ensuring that the change takes place in a positive way and brings the expected results.

To face these new challenges in your business, an important step is to learn how to effectively foster a culture of change.

Thus, I recommend seven ways to foster a culture of change in your company as follows:

  1. Form a team of agents: main actors in project leadership and management.
  2. Establish an internal communication plan: keeping employees informed is essential and ensures that the reasons for the change are clear.
  3. Manage the organizational impact of changes: identify the main impacts that will be generated and develop a mitigation plan for these impacts.
  4. Assess the level of readiness of employees to implement the change: clarity of objectives, leadership alignment, commitment, engagement, motivation and understanding of the advantages in the new context.
  5. Train employees: relevant training (the right information at the right time for the right people) for the business environment and for the new roles and responsibilities of employees.
  6. Introduce a plan to monitor the project’s progress and the implementation of the change: performance indicators and meetings to monitor the execution of actions and execution of the schedule for continuous evaluation of results.
  7. Set goals and objectives: it is important that they are in line with the company’s reality. Changes can jeopardize all productivity when they happen without programming and without the necessary preparation.

Follow the above recommendations and be sure to do all of them in a planned way, with the help of other executives in your company to really understand what and how it can be changed. Take the initiative to change the world. Let´s do a better world.

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