How to Encourage and Manage Business Change

BlogBusiness Evolution Posted: Tuesday 21st February 2017 by

It’s no secret that ‘change’ is this century’s business buzzword. Where for a long time companies developed and followed a set in stone trajectory for growth, we now live in a commercial world that doesn’t encourage long-term business planning. It would be too simplistic to say this is all because of technology, and experts are telling us that it’s actually of a combination of factors that has made our world most politically, economically, culturally and socially unstable than ever before.

How can you ensure that change remains an opportunity and not a threat for your organisation?

Your workforce

We’re all aware that a big part of our organisation’s ability to survive and thrive is down to the capability and skillsets of its workforce. This is even more applicable when considering the impact of industry, market or organisational change.

Consider your recruitment strategy – are you hiring the type of people that will be able to instigate and manage change in your sector?

Consider your competitors – look at both SME and larger organisations who offer similar products and services. Assess the type of roles they’re advertising, and you’ll get a very good idea of the skillsets and competencies they feel are important to their future growth.

As well as technical and business skillsets, with their critical thinking abilities of problem-solving and decision-making, consider bringing cognitive skills into your recruitment pool. With its focus on non-rational and non-logical skill sets, these are the type of staff who are much more mentally and emotionally ready for change and disruptive. They love creating together, and are well equipped to foster and drive change.

Your business planning

Just because a ten-year business plan might be unrealistic, doesn’t mean that a three-year one is. Be as diligent about strategy and planning as you’ve always been, but ensure that there’s flexibility there too. It’s been said that you’re either disrupting the industry or being disrupted – how quickly could your organisation’s structure, systems and processes adapt and respond to major industry change?

Consider investing in being a change instigator rather a change responder. Keep an eye on quickly developing themes and trends in your market and ensure your leadership team are equally as engaged – make time to work ‘on’ your business just as much as you work ‘in’ it.

Your leadership style

Effective communication is absolutely vital to successfully managing any sort of business change. Whilst change in itself can foster a level of uncertainty and therefore worry amongst your staff, there are several ways you can minimise this.

Ensure that your employees are clear on your organisation’s goals and the objectives of the upcoming change.

Make sure all decisions are clear and communicated appropriately across the entire workforce; listen to your employees and encourage questions and feedback.

Focus on employee engagement – this is the time for collaboration, knowledge share, additional training and support.

 

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