Today’s organizational environment is continuously facing unpredictable change that results in new unpredictable risks coming on the organization’s radar.
These new changes and the related risks are certainly not planned for. This state of uncertainty makes it difficult for leaders to successfully implement the plan. The approved plan has therefore to be revised in light of the new unpredictable changes and the related risks.
Since change is unpredictable, there is a need for management to cultivate among employees a positive attitude toward change by developing effective change management strategies that will help both management and employees cope with the change when it happens.
The strategies guide leaders in managing the transformation of the resources, goals, processes, and technologies to adapt to change.
Can one resist change?
It will be suicidal for any organization to try and resist change. Change is the law of life and no one can prevent it from happening.
Therefore, no individual or organization can claim immunity from it. Organizations that tried to resist change are already extinct. It is important to keep in mind that approved organizational plans do not capture unpredictable change and related risks.
Management needs to read the new signs of unpredictable change and the related risks as you implement your plan. The changes and related new risks, if properly handled will lead to business growth and success.
Change is caused by many factors including but not limited to the following;
- Tradition and new competition;
- Change in customer’s taste;
- Change in technology;
- A global epidemic like Covid-19;
- Strategy changes;
- Mergers and acquisitions and
- Business failures.
It is important to have the above factors in mind as you implement your plans.
Why is change management important?
Employees tend to resist change if the change is not properly handled. The resistance to change can be overcome through cultivating a positive mindset culture, employee capacity development programs, training on the job, collaboration, and creating winning and effective teams. Change management is therefore very important to the organization because it brings about the following benefits among others;
- It helps the organization achieve growth and success;
- It allows the management to cultivate a positive mindset culture;
- Employees are given the capacity to appreciate and manage change;
- Change management helps in risk management;
- It encourages innovation and creativity of employees;
- It created an environment where employees can learn from their own mistakes;
- It makes employees focus more on the goals of the organization; and
- The employees become more motivated to continuously implement changes.
What is the importance of leaders in change management?
The leaders play a key role in the change management process as they are the change agents. They are the ones who evaluate opportunities for change and understand what has to be done, by whom, and when. They are the ones who build the capacity of employees and inspire them to implement the changes that are necessary to achieve the desired growth and success of an organization.
Road map for change management?
A roadmap is a document that guides management and staff in effectively handling changes aimed at achieving the goals of the organization. It outlines the steps to be followed in implementing changes. The key steps in change management include the following among others;
Positive mindset culture
A positive attitude towards change has to be cultivated in the minds of all the employees to overcome any resistance to change. The relevance of change to the growth and success of an organization must be clear in the minds of the employees.
Identification of a challenge
The reason for the change should be the existence of a challenge that is preventing the organization from achieving its goals. The leaders should have the capacity to promptly identify and interpret the red flags or warning signs that indicate the existence of a challenge. For example, the red flag could be the increasing return of goods by customers due to reasons of poor quality.
Finding the cause and developing a solution
There is a need to identify and analyze the cause of the challenge. The challenge could be a result of either internal or external issues that need to be addressed. The proper documentation of the cause of the challenge will make it easier to develop a solution for the challenge. The solution should be effective and efficient given the scarcity of resources.
Change management plan
This is a plan developed to guide management and employees in the implementation of the solution to address the challenge. The goals and actions should be developed and communicated to the teams to make them appreciate and own the process.
Role of staff
The employees are responsible for implementing the change hence the need to give them the capacity to appreciate and own the change process. They must have a positive attitude towards change as it leads to the achievement of continuous growth and success.
Implementing the change
This is when the change plan is put into action by allocating the necessary resources and continuously documenting the progress against Key Performance indicators (KPIs).
Review and monitor the KPIs
Through the use of appropriate tools, the actual results of performance are compared to agreed KPIs to monitor the progress and evaluate the results. Remedial action is developed and implemented if performance is not in line with the KPIs.
Uncertainty and the resulting risks are part of life and therefore leaders must be ready to confront and overcome challenges during the implementation of the approved plan.