Why Change Management is Important for All Businesses

Change Management is Important for All Businesses

Thanks to the rapid development of disruptive technologies and the introduction of new ways of accomplishing tasks, the modern business world is in a perpetual state of flux. Organizations trying to keep themselves on the cutting edge must change continuously.

As a result, the implementation of changes within organizations has developed from an occasional need into its own field of business. This process of planning, implementing, and guiding change initiatives is commonly referred to as change management.

Far from being confined to the famously volatile tech sector, change management applies to almost every modern industry. This is because there are virtually no industries in which new technologies are not emerging on a regular basis.

Manufacturing, for example, has been irrevocably changed by rapid developments in 3D printing.

Meanwhile, innovations in smart dining, have caused the restaurant industry to change its services. For example, fast food has made its first major systemic change in decades by introducing automated ordering kiosks.

New and innovative technologies require successful change management throughout the implementation process.Change management can also relate to non-technological changes in a company. Change initiatives are frequently undertaken during mergers and acquisitions, for example.

During the merging of two formerly separate businesses, systems ranging from IT to everyday paperwork processing must be successfully standardized and integrated. For this process to be successful, careful change management planning is critical.

3 Best Practices: Implementing Successful Change Management

Unfortunately, the majority of change management efforts fall flat. A 2013 Towers Watson study found that only 25 percent of employers realize long-term gains from their change management efforts.

In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses cannot afford such low success rates. The following are three best practices for change management to ensure smooth and successful institutional changes.

1. Work From the Top Down

When your business makes substantial changes, it’s important to make them at the leadership levels first. The CEO, board members, and executives must not only agree on the changes but also be the first to begin implementing them.

By starting at the top, a business can allow new policies or procedures to spread more easily into the lower-level staff. If, on the other hand, the changes are introduced at the lower levels without full cooperation from all members of the leadership team, it is very likely that new ways of doing things will meet resistance as they move up the corporate hierarchy.

2. Communicate Effectively With Employees

Dramatic changes can be taxing on employees who have spent long periods of time doing their jobs in a certain way. In many cases, this will lead to some resistance to the ongoing changes.

For example, a study conducted by change management training firm Prosci found that a lack of understanding of why changes were being made was one of the most common causes of employee resistance to change initiatives.

This is why communicating the reasons for organizational changes should be one of the key goals for those overseeing such initiatives.

Change Management Processes Must Be Implemented for Organizational Success

3. Assess Results Proactively

No matter how good a change management plan may be on paper, there will always be some complications once it is actually implemented. This is why it is important for change management professionals to conduct rolling assessments and alter their plans as necessary.

Being proactive in this will allow you to fix small problems as they arise, rather than dealing with larger complications later on.

Though change management can be a complex and difficult process, approaching it in the right way can help to make it much more manageable. If your business is preparing to make a major series of changes, including these best practices in your change management plan can help to support successful implementation.

4. Understand What the Experts are Saying

Developing a change management strategy is no easy task, nor should it be done in a silo. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, research what consultants and other Change Management experts are saying.

 

 


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