How to manage change in your organisation

How to manage change in your organisation

“Change is the only constant.” remarked Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher. Businesses need to brace themselves for change. The environment is always is a state of change.
There are political, social, economic and technological influences on organisations. Business leaders should be on the watch out for such changes.
These can impact positively or negatively on the performance of an organisation. It’s therefore advisable for captains of industry to constantly tweak their strategies to reflect the changing landscape.

If they don’t change they might wake up tomorrow to see that their markets have shifted to another supplier like what happened to Nokia which unfortunately noticed very late that it was standing in sinking sand when competitors like Samsung, Apple and others had taken over the smartphone market. Such changes can consign a company into oblivion.
Change can be very unnerving because people don’t want to move out of their comfort zones. So one needs to know how to handle change so that staff will accept it.
Change in a business setup emanates from a number of new initiatives that the company might be embarking on such as implementing a new strategy, implementing a new project, appointment of a new CEO, technology improvements, trying to stay ahead of the competition, implementing a turnaround strategy, or after a merger or an acquisition.
All these factors impact on the way we work or do our things.

It does not matter the size of the change, whether you’re considering a small change to one or two processes, or a system wide change to an organisation, management and the rest of employees will feel very uneasy, intimidated or terrified by the scale of the challenge.

Whether change is frightening or intimidating, change is necessary if the organisation has to navigate the murky waters resulting from environmental turbulence.
One of the greatest scientist of our times Albert Einstein said that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
If you don’t change the way you do things you can’t expect to get excellent results. If change is necessary then it needs to be managed for it to be successful.
It’s therefore the business leaders’ responsibility to manage change efforts to minimize its negative impact on employees.

If change has to happen in your organisation you need to know where to start, who to involve and how to take everyone along with you.
As you prepare for change you need to understand the change that is being introduced, the time frame of the change.
You need to establish the scope of the change, how big the change will be and which employees would be affected.

You need to know the number of people that will be impacted and how they are being affected by the change.
It is also very critical to understand the people being impacted by the change and how they perceive the change.
If there has been past changes you need to evaluate how they were managed and how employees reacted to the change.

The history and culture of the organization is very important in determining the success or failure of change initiatives.
How the management and employees perceive the need for this change will determine the level of resistance you will likely face.

So it’s important for management or the champions of change to create a shared vision for the organization and understanding for the need to change.
Once you have established the nature of the change and the people that it will affect it is important that employees understand what the change will be and the reasons behind the change.

You need to communicate about the change, why it has to be undertaken. The more that the employees understand the need for change the less they will be resistant to the change.

Stewart Jakarasi is a business & financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy and performance management.

He provides advisory and guidance on leadership, strategy and execution, preparation of business plans and on how to build and sustain high-performing organisations.
lFor assistance in implementing some of the concepts discussed in these articles please contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com or +266 58881062 or on WhatsApp +266 62110062

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