According to Strategy+Business, yesteryear’s desire for stability in business is gone due to “market transparency, labour mobility, global capital flows, and instantaneous communications.”
Instead, competition, often on a global scale, is constantly creating the need for change in organisations across all industries.
To keep up with market trends and customers’ demands, companies should be able to constantly evolve and change; this very nature of change management should be embedded into the corporate culture of every firm.
However, often, time and money are wasted when a company tries to change, but in the end, no change actually takes place.
There can be many reasons for this occurring, but a common pitfall of change management is the failure to focus on the people involved.
Transforming Your Leadership Culture, a book by McGuire and Rhodes, proposes that those that want change often focus solely on the processes needed for the transformation, instead of the people and the culture involved and impacted by the change.
First and foremost, the authors state that upper management must be the catalyst for the change, not just deciding and putting change into motion, but being the examples of the proposed transitions.
“When leaders take on and follow through on cultural transformation alongside their strategic and operational changes, they consistently succeed in reaching performance goals” McGuire says.
This is imperative so that the employees are not only instructed in how to change, but truly see that their own bosses are invested in the change.
By being models of the implemented changes, and showing staff that they are not only talking the talk, but walking the walk, the employees will become more comfortable with the new developments, and will work hard to prove that they, too, can be masters of change.
An example of this would be if a company implemented a green initiative, urging employees to do everything they can to be more environmentally-friendly.
Most likely, some will recycle a bit more, but nothing will happen on a bigger scale.
However, if the manager himself will ride into work on his bike, start emailing more instead of printing out and distributing papers, and will introduce a water filtration system instead of offering bottled water to staff, that attitude will motivate the rest of the team members to try and be more green, as well.
Change management is really all about people instead of systems and processes.
By being a model of change, and being available to your staff to address their concerns and teach them the intricacies of the proposed developments, your endeavours will be more successful.
Head of Training and Development