Saturday, July 11, 2015

How do you Assess an Organization is Ready for Change?

An organization is on the road to success when change is part of its nature.

Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is accelerating. However, adaptability and resourcefulness -the response to change are woefully underrated by business as keys to sustainability and success. How do you assess an organization that is ready for change? How can you measure change readiness? How do you engage with today's management and make them change themselves into the role needed today for modern Change Management? What is needed to be done in order to execute a successful change when you have a different level of leadership quality? And what are the further aspects of managing change successfully?

Vision, boldness, and decisiveness are crucial to introducing changes in the marketplace. Businesses that wait for demand to change are behind the curve. High valued businesses are the ones listening to the wildest desires and needs of their potential customers. There is the critical need of active and supportive leadership nowadays and especially in change processes. It also requires special team members from marketing to sales, to operations, to customer services and after sales, to accounting and finance, etc. Thus, there is no room for functional silos and narrow specialization. It takes vision, boldness and decisiveness via cross-functional communication and collaboration, to make proactive changes and radical digital transformation.

An organization is on the road to success when change is part of its nature. Overcoming resistance to change in an organizational culture is key to moving the ship’s direction. Successful organizations see the changes coming and with preplanning to overcome the resistance before it even manifests. The ONLY certainty leaders of organizations will have is that their business will change. It is only a matter of time. Therefore, those who prepare their employees to cope with all coming change will be the companies of the future with a future. Corporate agility--the very ability to adapt to the change, is an interesting topic, especially when contrasting large and small companies. Large ones are often thought of as slow and full of inertia while small ones have the speed for innovation. This is true to a degree, but the most innovative large companies are constantly challenging their own ability to transform, as bellwethers in their industry, they can make a huge impact to transform their vertical sectors as well.

Change readiness can be determined via a validated instrument, the change profile-scan. Too many organizations are mechanistic, control and command hierarchies. If your organization fits the description, get out fast or initiate change within. It's not the change that needs management. It's management that has to change its paternalistic view and give space to what the professionals they hired for the works. Companies don't think about change. People in companies do, from different positions. Mostly the management wants to see a different (better) result of all combined efforts. So methods or people held responsible for those results 'have to change.' Dynamic and changing organizations cannot operate with stable unchanging people. Most people are quite willing to put the effort in change. What they don't want is 'to be changed by others.' That calls out for resistance. So let them be part of the direction, speed and way you are heading. If people are used to taking action of their own and are also responsible for it, you can move mountains. An important trend observed so far is the adoption of Agile method into the organizational structure of a company. The change must come in removing the political power struggle within a company. With continuous changes, the business can only be built on the belief of serving personal growth and providing tools or enabling frameworks that allow employees to become better, or more capable persons, or to have the organization as a whole become more agile and mature. The management and staff need to be working as high performing and creative teams, having both internal and external beliefs around how the business is a movement for ennoblement and improvement. Building the expectation for the next step and commitment that will follow. Those who cannot learn and change will get left behind.

Closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in the environment of a company. The desires of stakeholders, clients and employees are evolving naturally. Change Management, therefore, should be an adequate, logical, and systematic effort to any environmental shift.  Businesses will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability. That being said, after objective change-readiness assessment, it requires a plan and strategy, and most importantly the execution. Well-planned execution will greatly reduce and practically eliminate the fear of change that derails good or even great intentions. Change becomes an ongoing business capability to achieve high performance and high business maturity.


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