In today’s dynamic business environment, companies need to be flexible and adaptable to remain competitive and successful. However, implementing change in a company can get challenging. This is why change management plays a key role in the process of effective business development. What is this strategy and how do you plan for it? You will find out in this article!
Plan change management – table of contents:
What is change management in a company?
Change management is a process that involves planning and implementing new methods of operation within an enterprise. This approach assumes that change isn’t restricted to individual positions or departments, but should affect the entire organizational structure.
The goal of this strategy is to organize and confront the various challenges that many companies face.
Change management in a company – when to implement?
We can distinguish several premises in which it is worthwhile to start the process of making changes, or when it is inevitable and crucial to the survival of the company. These will be, for example:
- Restructuring or merger of the company;
- Transformations and technological developments that will change the functioning of the entire industry;
- Willingness to improve efficiency;
- High employee turnover;
- Implementing a new development strategy;
- Introduce a new management style – agile or lean management;
- Changing the organizational structure.
Kotter’s change management model
Kotter’s change model consists of 6 steps and is used by leaders to successfully implement organizational change. These are presented as follows:
- Create a sense of urgency
- Draft a team or designate individuals to be responsible for the change management process
- Formulate a vision and strategy for change
- Remove obstacles and increase motivation
- Focus on short-term goals and celebrate small successes
- Maintain the level achieved
The first step is to create awareness of the need for change. All team members need to understand that change is necessary for the continuous improvement of the company. This is a key aspect that determines the future sustainability of the changes made. To do this, you need to identify problems and opportunities. The best way to do this is to involve employees and encourage them to discuss the issue. Explain the reasons why the change is necessary at this time for the company. You can also involve external people related to your industry to get a broader perspective.
The implementation of this step depends on the size and resources of your organization. However, as a general rule, it is advisable to delegate such a task to a trusted person with whom you see an aptitude to lead the entire process. He or she should be experienced and familiar with the functioning of the entire organization, and have leadership and communication skills.
Vision is an important part of strategy development because it makes it easier to understand a company’s strategic goals. In addition, the vision should be visible in all aspects of the company. In this way, you can build commitment from your team, as well as positively influence external communication and brand equity. To better illustrate future changes and upgrades, you can use process flow diagrams.
At the very beginning, you need to know what constraints (bottlenecks) the company is facing. Which business processes generate losses and reduce the efficiency of the team? Try to find solutions to remove them or minimize their negative effects. In addition, remember to involve and reward employees themselves for supporting change. Monitor progress, such as with KPIs.
Set achievable goals – this is especially essential in the first phases of implementing change, when the team may tend to doubt and get discouraged quickly. You can use the SMART principle to set strategic goals.
Quite often, the real challenge is to implement changes, so that they become part of continuous learning and development in various areas of the business. Therefore, systematically analyze your successes and aspects that are worth improving. Encourage employees to share their ideas – they are the ones with extensive and practical knowledge of the company’s processes. They can spot shortcomings where those in higher positions do not see them. You can also go for benchmarking and take inspiration from other companies’ experiences.
Advantages and disadvantages of change management
What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with implementing a change management strategy in a company? Let’s find out!
- A better understanding of the company’s operations and organizational culture by management and employees;
- It is a good starting point for new, innovative solutions;
- Increase the motivation of team members in their daily work;
- Allows withdrawal of inefficient processes;
- Increase the organization’s ability to adapt to change;
- It enables the company to grow broadly and adapt to dynamic changes in the market;
- Ensures consistency in the company’s operations.
- The whole process can stagger (however, keep in mind that any major changes in the way you organize should not be abrupt and ill-considered);
- If you don’t take your employees’ opinions into account, they may feel reluctant and resist change. By doing so, you are preventing yourself from successfully implementing your new strategy;
- Implementing changes may also involve training for employees, which generates additional costs.
- The chosen techniques may not be adapted to the specifics of the company’s operations. As a result, the effort and work put into the process will prove ineffective.
Managing change in a company is integral to successful development and adaptation to a changing business environment. It requires a strategic approach, effective communication, employee involvement and effective monitoring of progress. It’s a process to ensure smooth adaptation and achieve desired results in today’s highly volatile market conditions.