Guest post by Matt Driscoll
Photo courtesy of Shutter Stock
Change has long been considered vital for businesses, which need to keep adapting to the times or risk being left behind in their respective industries. While it’s easy to accept that change is necessary, though, it’s not easy to implement across an entire organisation without issues being raised or problems being encountered. One of the best ways of introducing changes to an organisation is to ensure that different teams, departments and stakeholders are ready to embrace the proposed changes.
How can you build organisational readiness to change (ORtC)?
- Having the right conditions and resources in place to support the change process.
- Having a clear vision and objectives for the intended change.
- Having the motivation and attitudes to engage with the change and make it work.
The responsibility of building ORtC, therefore, tends to rest respectively with the company’s board of directors, HR department and individual management teams.
Conditions and resources
You should never have to build ORtC completely from scratch – there should always be at least a solid foundation of values that can be retained or modified to allow changes to come in and work effectively. Conducting the day-to-day business in the same way will allow for a greater level of stability and seamless transition than if the culture at work were to change overnight.
In addition, the resources and systems that are utilised every day should be assessed to ensure that they can sustain the change – if they cannot, they should be upgraded or swapped ahead of time to ensure stability and sustained competence levels when the change is implemented. As far as change leaders are concerned, this is one of the most important areas to consider when building ORtC.
Vision and objectives of change
Any changes that are made have to be in line with an overall vision or end goal that is clear and achievable – with no direction and no discernible objective, the changes are just being made for the sake of it. If they are not aligned to the company’s goals, they may end up causing more harm than good, taking the focus of different teams away from important areas.
With this in mind, ensure that your changes are tailored to both short and long-term goals so that they will actually help the company achieve them. Producing timelines and plans will help to crystallise the expected outcomes and keep things on track.
Motivation and attitude
One of the most significant obstacles when it comes to organisational change is the motivation and attitudes of the employees that will be affected – without getting them on board, the changes will not work. However, it is important not to label resistant employees as “difficult”, as there are a wide range of reasons why they might not be receptive to the changes.
It helps vastly to ensure that the thought processes and decisions made are transparent so that employees fully understand why the changes are being implemented, and how they will affect their duties or overall positions. Prior to the changes coming in, employees should be provided with all the available information and given time to get used to the idea – this will ensure that they are engaged with what the company is trying to do and that their productivity and work quality are not negatively affected.
Matt Driscoll is an L&D Consultant focusing on Leadership and Management at Thales L&D. Matt has over 13 years’ experience in learning and development, he is genuinely passionate about helping people improve themselves.
Matt is a regular contributor to Enhance – The Magazine for Learning and Development.
The Product Management Perspective: Product managers face change in nearly every aspect of the job. Changes in the market can be the most difficult to detect and deal with, and yet these are among the most important for product success. Changes in teams and company make-up happen often and need to be dealt with professionally. Set aside time to understand the market and take the time to get to know everyone on the teams you work with. Change happens; deal with it effectively.