Change Management: Never so fast, or so necessary!

Posted by Audra Proctor

There is very little doubt that the business context that organisations are facing is more dynamic than ever.

What customers want is constantly changing and organisations are continually now having to rethink and replan their response to this fluid environment. Both in terms of focus and adapted ways of working - that is needed to allow them to respond effectively. And, at the same time, there is increasing pressure to do things in a more cost-effective manner.

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Traditional Change Management models and approaches are being challenged

This very insightful article from Forbes is just as relevant right now as when it was published back in 2018, in fact, you could argue that the broader impacts of COVID-19 mean it is more important than ever.  At its heart, it invites a re-think of how change is managed inside organisations. And, more specifically, how organisations that have been designed for stability are now operating in a highly disrupted environment which calls for continuous adaptation. Not static, inflexible structures that become more of a millstone than a benefit.

Change happens all around the organisation

Central to the arguments in the article – which is increasingly reflected day-in, day-out in our work with clients – is that change doesn’t happen in the linear way that more traditional Change Management models allow for. Top-down, with long lead times and a cascading effect that comes from senior executives.

While some of that is true – and there is a lot of large-scale change that is initiated top-down, via the organisational hierarchy and that requires employee buy-in through engagement and reinforcement – this is only part of the story.

There is also, even more, change generated “bottom-up” in the organisation that calls for business teams to quickly:

  • respond rapidly and effectively to new environmental triggers
  • adapt existing operating models to reach increasingly distributed teams and groups of people
  • quickly develop MVPs and new prototype offerings
  • adjust existing business processes to meet the revised needs or different customer behaviours

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Change is everyone’s business

In this revised model change very much becomes everyone’s business in order to ensure that the organisation is able to innovate through disruption. The solution is not about being hierarchical in your approach to change but highly agile.

And it is individuals and teams with easy access to Change Management skills and tools - and organisations with proven, transferable methods that allow them to work faster and smarter – who are truly set up for agile change and transformation.

Effectively embedding and scaling Change Management capability deep into an organisation’s structures, processes and people can be highly challenging at the best of times. But this is even more of a challenge right now due to the fact that many of your people are remote and distributed. But technology has a strong role to play in getting skills, tools, and resources to the ‘coalface’. Where they are most needed. Quickly, on-demand, and in a cost-effective manner.

In this new environment, CMOs and their Sponsors will need to get comfortable with SaaS based licencing for digital platforms like our own Roadmap Pro platform - and flexible toolkits like Diagnostics Pro - that are specifically to automate the scaling of Change Management approaches. The fair assumption would be that there is less time and talent bandwidth to keep creating and re-inventing to execute your role.

Are you ready for the opportunities – and uncertainties – that your teams are currently facing?  Talk to us now about building a team and network with the skills and mindsets the digital world requires – enabled for rapid responses to fast-changing circumstances.

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Tags: agile change, agile change managment, change management expertise

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