Change is a certainty in life. It’s inevitable, whether the change is planned or unforeseen, it will happen. In today’s working world, we are experiencing the most rapid pace of change, that hasn’t been experienced since the industrial revolution. Those that forecast, plan for and embrace change are faring the best, those that aren’t are moving from one situation to the next like a rudderless boat on a stormy sea.
Key points to effective change management are well documented. Planning is fundamental to the success of any change initiative. Other success factors include: the ready identification of changes that will impact business, the risks and ramifications of those changes; the importance of including communication, implementation, measurement and review components in your change strategy; the choice of the best change model for your business and the standardisation of change processes (given that change is a constant phenomenon).
However, for most businesses some groundwork needs to be done and revisited regularly to ensure a proactive and positive response to any change initiative:
- Truly (thoroughly, comprehensively):
- know your business, your industry, your market, your competitors;
- know the risks of and to your business (environmental, geographical, economic, political, social, whole of team);
- know the capacity, competencies and capabilities of each of your team members and their adaptability to change – their “change calibration”.
- Develop a culture of continuous improvement.
There are a myriad of ways this can be achieved: make continuous improvement one of your organisational values; have a continuous improvement policy or include it in your employee handbook; create procedures and parameters on how each level of your organisation can raise or solve problems; include continuous improvement as an agenda item for team meetings; introduce a continuous improvement committee; to name a few.
The important thing is to actively encourage your team to identify and maximise the opportunities represented by problem solving, organisational and situational change. Recognise that continuous improvement puts a positive spin on change.
- Identify change agents early.
Having a strong understanding of what changes your business will be facing (short and long term) and having a strong understanding of your existing team members’ “change calibration”, will help you identify those that are best placed to actively assist with change processes and continuous improvement.
You may need to further upskill them in certain areas; however, this will be repaid in spades as they will help with the communication, implementation and the team morale side of any change initiative.
Be sure, prior to any recruitment, to know the level of “change calibration” you need for any successful candidate. Do you need a ‘change agent’ or a ‘change manager’? Your screening process needs to be robust to determine you get the right person in the role, one who understands and can enact continuous improvement to the level you need in your business, one who has a positive attitude to change and will speak for the best interests of the organisation and the business.
Extensive research shows that approximately 70% of all efforts to achieve organisational changes fail to meet original objectives. Having a robust strategy with well-defined planning and open communication sets the stage for effective change management and the success of any change implementation. Change initiatives are best placed to meet their goals and objectives when the human side of change is managed effectively. To be prepared for and to keep pace with change you must know each individuals’ capacity and appetite for change and you need to be recruiting future change agents and change managers.
With our extensive experience in quality recruitment outcomes and through the delivery of successful change management projects and initiatives to organisations of all sizes across diverse industry sectors, the team at Elite Executive are here to support you.
Senior Recruitment Specialist