Managing organizational change effectively

Change comes to every company eventually. How do these businesses handle themselves when in flux?

Companies don't stay stagnant and leaders must be ready for evolution.

Companies don’t stay stagnant and leaders must be ready for evolution.

Change is an essential part of progress, and in today’s high-speed business environment, companies that don’t evolve and move forward may have a hard time staying competitive. However, in doing so leaders may be concerned about what effect too many changes will have on employees who are already set in their ways.

With the right preparations, it’s possible to keep individuals and a company on track while major and minor processes alike take new forms. Managers shouldn’t assume their team members will adjust without any education or readiness, but as long as they prepare, they don’t have to worry. One of the most pertinent facts about organizational change is that it’s going to happen sooner or later, making advance planning essential.

Pointing toward a specific goal
Forbes Agency Council contributor Andy Etemadi recently pointed out an important step of meaningful shifts in business practices: Leaders should know where the process is heading as early as possible. He specified that when it’s time to grow or otherwise shift gears, management teams need to figure out the ideal next steps and form a unified front. Furthermore, contact with team members at all levels – those carrying out important everyday tasks – will better inform leaders and help ensure workers at all levels understand and support the planned next steps.

Furthermore, Etemadi underlined it’s possible to pull off a major change of direction even without drastically increasing the budget. He specified when companies become serious about shutting down activities that aren’t helping the organization, it frees up manpower and money needed to make new strategies work. The author explained how trimming old processes may be more important than implementing new ones.

How will employees react?
When companies shake up their processes, not every worker will adapt to the new situation in the same way. Occupational Health & Safety recently highlighted a model that breaks employees into groups based on their reactions to change. Some workers will automatically take to new directions and seek out information on their own. Others will hurry to obey their bosses or eventually follow the herd. A particular group of employees will remain skeptical of any new type of implementation until they see data that backs up its effectiveness. A final group will take a contrarian stance against change, no matter what it entails.

The source pointed out how leaders should move down the line to gain support and buy-in for change, winning over pioneers first and then bringing other groups on board. Not getting every single worker’s support may seem problematic, but the fact is there are some professionals who will always be negative. Failure to win praise from each individual is not a reason to stop a new program’s roll-out.

Anyone on a team can be a change leader.Anyone on a team can be a change leader.

Leadership comes from everywhere
Companies need luminaries within their ranks to provide direction during the types of shifts described above. As Chief Learning Officer contributor William Seidman pointed out, however, these captains don’t have to be high-ranking executives. The author pointed out that in today’s lightning-speed business world, the key to a successful evolution may reside with a rank-and-file employee. Organizations open to contributions from all levels of employees during periods of change may find themselves taking on new processes more comfortably than those stuck in hierarchies.

An essential topic of study
When it comes to occupational education, change management is a great topic, because it’s one that every company will need.

MasteryTCN offers a unique program to help organization’s transform their corporate culture to adapt a mindset for change and innovation. For more information on how your organization can start taking the steps to become more creative, innovative and change-adaptive, download our free white paper here. 

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