As the name suggests, Change Management (CM) is the management of any change within an organisation from how it currently operates, to how it wants to operate. However, the implementation of CM is incredibly sophisticated for one very particular reason, the individual beliefs and reactions of the employees who work in the organisation.
In a time long since past, dramatic change was not something organisations aspired to. Stability was the key for everyone involved, from senior executives down to employees on the lowest levels. Predictability meant targets could be set and met, employees knew what their jobs were and how much they would be paid without worrying about job security, and companies maintained their path of gentle growth with little risk. However, with the advent of the Internet, the ease and speed to communicate with anyone worldwide, proliferation of technological advancements, the opening up of global markets, and willingness of employees to work for multiple organisations throughout their career blew an enormous hole in the gentle pace businesses had moved up to that point. This perfect storm meant organisations had to embrace change, otherwise they would fall behind and die, regardless of their size at the time. History is littered with huge business that failed to embrace CM strategies to stay ahead of the game such as Kodak, Blockbuster, Atari, Blackberry and MySpace. Once market leaders in their respective fields, they are now either long since gone, or slowly attempting to make their way back from the back of the pack.
Change Management is culturally embedded in market leading businesses
Today, businesses that are successful have CM embedded in their everyday operations; it has become part of their culture. They manage to align CM strategic planning with the employees who work there, while never deviating from company values. This balancing act is not easy, especially when you throw the at times unpredictable nature of humans into the mix. That’s why the key to any CM strategy starts with taking into consideration the impact change will have on every individual employee. When CM plans fall short of their intended goals, where it went wrong is often traced back to a failure to plan for how it would impact the people who work there.
Key foundations for successful Change Management
The travel industry has undergone enormous change in recent times. Technology has given consumers more power than ever to find deals and make plans without the need for specialised bricks and mortar third party operators. The companies that have embraced this change have gone from strength to strength, while those that didn’t have fallen by the wayside.
While every company is different, there are a number of common CM strategies that should be implemented when making organisational transformations.
- Clearly and succinctly articulate the changes being made, keep everyone in the loop throughout the process, and give frequent feedback as soon as change has been made.
- Any change should start at CEO and senior management level, and work down through the levels of organisational structures. Leading from the front is the best way to inspire employees to follow suit.
- Empowering employees by asking them what they think will not only provide them with a sense of ownership of the change, but it’s also a great way to get feedback along the way.
- Some employees will resist, that’s natural and to be expected, so it’s vital you recognise it when it happens, and deal with it immediately.
- Despite the best laid CM plans, things can and will go wrong along the way. People will react unexpectedly, so continue to monitor the changes and be willing to adapt throughout the process.
- Remaining positive at all times will give confidence to the staff. Even if behind closed doors the changes aren’t going to plan, always keep a brave face.
Take your business to the next level
In today’s global marketplace change is inescapable, and the best businesses are those that can manage each individual transition, while also integrating CM into the organisation’s culture. Enrolling in and completing a Change Management Course is the best way to make changes in your business to stay on top of current trends.
Locomote offers an 8-part Change Management Certification eCourse for FREE. This eCourse is delivered directly to your email inbox on a daily basis, and you’ll receive at certificate upon successful completion of the course’s content.
Don’t be left behind in today’s fast paced and ever changing business world. Join our Change Management eCourse and have the confidence to make the changes required to take your business to the next level.
Written by Bryan Carroll @Locomote