The epidemic brought on by Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on every economy and caused the resurgence of a VUCA world where volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity are now thriving qualities of the modern environment we live in.
With these events taking center stage today, it has become obvious and undeniable to many that change is becoming the new normal and perhaps, the only constant as well.
As Kelly A Morgan once said, “changes are inevitable and not always controllable. What can be controlled is how you manage, react to and work through the change process.”
In this article, we will be sharing more about what change management is all about, why it is important in the modern world and what are some of the common ways to manage change.
Gaining these insights can help you be as best prepared as possible for the challenges that are sure to arise in the near future, if it has not already.
What Is Change Management?
Perhaps, the best way to understand what change management is all about is by going back to look at its very definition. According to an article published by Prosci.com, change management refers to the “discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organisational success and outcomes”.
One other article shares that “change management takes care of the people’s side of change”. This basically refers to the fact that companies and leaders tend to manage change by focusing on their employees.
Adopting the “people’s side” strategy allows employers to help colleagues embrace, adopt and utilise a change in their day-to-day workstyles. As such, when done right, change management can also refer to the “systematic management of employee engagement and adoption” too.
From an organisational perspective, change management can also take on a different perspective within the working world. This perspective can be broken down into a process that encompasses three stages to it.
The first stage of the process begins by encouraging individuals to be better prepared for the anticipated differences to come in the near future. The use of readiness assessments to help guide the formulation of a strategy takes place here.
It then moves on to its second stage of implementing and incorporating multiple plans into action. Finally, the process is completed when changes are reinforced through “compliance audits and mechanisms” as they help to cement the new norm.
With that being said, there are different types of change management processes that can be established within a company. Depending on the organisational and economical circumstances, these changes could be development, transitional or even transformational in nature.
Therefore, it is especially crucial for leaders to identify which among these plans of change management they may need to adopt to assure their businesses’ continued survival in spite of the challenges posed by the new normal.
Why Is Change Management Important?
While there are a multitude of reasons for businesses and its leaders to employ effective change management strategies within their organisations, it is crucial that individuals understand why this process is so critical in the modern world.
What can implementing these processes and plans gain for your businesses?
Practicing change management can help organisations to increase its success of critical projects and initiatives while improving a company’s ability to adapt quickly.
Change management is an important process as it can help to ease tensions between individuals at work, save time and organisational resources, as well as create a more adaptable and innovative working environment.
The process of managing change can subsequently help employees to understand their new roles better and even assist leaders to build a more process-driven culture at their workplaces.
One of the biggest reasons why leaders of businesses resort to change management, even when they may be skeptical of the concept, is due to the factor that poorly managing change can be exceptionally costly.
Expenditures as a result of poorly handling change management can be incurred over details such as manpower and infrastructure maintenance among many other possibilities.
Last but not least, change management is essential for any organisation that is looking to get out of a crisis as the process can also create consistency and efficiency in approaches as the company prepares itself for the future in order to remain competitive within its field.
For all these reasons, change management is an important process that should be practiced in companies that are facing a brick wall due to the challenges posed by the new normal.
What Are Some Common Ways To Manage Change?
There are many ways to manage change within an organisation. Inc.com suggests people and businesses to start accepting the mindset that change is inevitable and look into understanding how it will affect employees on an individual level.
One of the best ways organisations can set themselves out to make the most out of their time is by attending educational workshops or webinars to improve their skills.
Remote facilitation and participating in virtual training sessions from home is being proposed to be one of the new suggested changes to arise from the new normal.
This step towards progress through digital learning could be an initiative that could potentially reap the benefits of an increase in productive work hours earned, greater quality of staff-acquired skills, better sense of community, purpose as well as focus for your employees over time.
Managing change can vary in the respective tasks from person to person according to the role(s) they play within a company. This is why identifying the part you play within a business setting is pertinent.
In order to regain control of the situation when changes are taking place at its peak, leaders “must be able to connect with their teams to help them understand the “why” and “how” of their job”.
On the other hand, many employees are looking for ways to maximise their productivity with the newly implemented remote working conditions. Working from home has caused employees to reconsider and better cultivate work-life balance into their routines.
It has also been found that employees want the work they do to be fulfilling and purpose-filled. Hence, employers and leaders will also need to look into their staffs’ needs when handling change management duties.
As such, incorporating digital learning and understanding the roles individuals play within an organisation can help illuminate people about how the big picture functions and allow everyone in a company to handle change management better.
In conclusion, leaders, employers and colleagues need to follow a specific set of structure or system in order to efficiently handle change management in the modern world.
Doing so can also help organisations to better measure the business impact of the changes that have affected them and learn what works and what does not work for them, from the process.
Additionally, as was covered in our talk series titled “The New Normal”, tapping on the qualities of resilient leadership, embracing changes as a team, and practicing effective communication within the workplace are also strategic ways to handle change management in the future.
Let us keep in mind Charles Darwin’s words as we move ahead with progress, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change”.
StrengthsAsia has helped many individual and corporate clients all throughout the region in empowering leaders by enabling breakthrough experiences for both leaders and followers. If you want to learn more about our StrengthsFinder Leadership Development or StrengthsFinder Team Building Program, feel free to reach out to us here.