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“Your life does not get better by chance, it only gets better with change”
Change is must to be in the frontline and thrive in this VUCA world. In order to be a market leader, one needs to embed and embrace ‘Change’ constantly into the system. To stay competitive and profitable we should bring in change in our ways of working, product, business models, customer segments, brands etc. change is inevitable and innovation is no different.
On the other hand, change also comes with a bag of fear, threat, opportunities, fun and happiness. The biggest beneficiary or victim of change would always be the employees who will either have a direct or an indirect impact. There is no one secret formula for dealing with change but in my experience, I have seen that the ones who approach change with a right mindset are more successful in dealing with it and are able to navigate through the change lifecycle faster and better!
Business Value through Change
We need to make sure that any change we implement will create business value. There needs to be clarity of what is going to be addressed through this change. It will be easy to reach the acceptance stage in the change management cycle if we clearly state the additional value what we are trying to bring in through a particular change initiative. Any change that can bring in customer delight is the best measurement of change management process.
Look at the bigger picture
As mentioned, change will have direct or indirect impact on People, especially when it happens in organizations. During times of change, it is very crucial to see how organizations take care of their employees. One common mistake I have seen many organizations do during this process is taking the one sided approach i.e. trying to take care of only the employees who are going through the change or getting impacted due to the change. Most often than not, the rest of the people in the organization who are not momentarily going through the change process is forgotten. There could be so many questions running in their mind as well like ‘Am I the next?’, ‘What will happen next’, ‘Whom should I reach out to’, etc. Hence it is important that organizations should make sure they address all employees in a right way and make them feel they are included and valued. This will help to create a very positive and conducive working environment in the organization which in turn results in better efficiency.
Communication Strategy is the key!
The success of any change depends on how good an organization communicate the change. It is important to state the ‘Why’ part of the change clearly to the key stakeholders followed by ‘What’ are we trying to achieve with this change. With the clarity of communication on the ‘Why’ and ‘What’, the teams will automatically be empowered to come up with the ‘How’ part of it.
Three golden rules when it comes to communicating the change:
- Be open and transparent about the change. Communicate early and often. Have a clear communication strategy on the frequency, pattern, content, timelines etc.
- Keep the message constant across the organization, but customize your communication package according to the target audience.
- Make it personal and relevant. Without creating personalized plans for employees affected by change, there is no way they can prepare for it. Specific outlines of what processes will be different, and where they will occur, is a crucial step in managing even the smallest of organizational changes.
Agile Leadership, the need of the hour!
Leadership plays a major role during any change management programs in an organization. A leadership team that is agile, can drive changes with uncertainty, who can take decisions at the right time and also have the courage to change the decisions if it’s not relevant to the current context would make the journey a seamless process!
Readiness of the Ecosystem
While most of the efforts are spent on communicating the ‘How’ part of the change, we first need to look around and check if we are ready to embrace the change. It will be interesting to note the changes that are being brought to the ecosystem and the interlinkage with other aspects. For example, if it is a process improvement, keep the process owners and other stakeholders involved in the process informed and abreast with the changes.
Embracing New Opportunities
Every change comes with new opportunities. People who can convert this new opportunity in a positive manner will always be happy and more productive. The way how one looks at the change is more important than the direct benefits that the change has to offer. Not all opportunities comes with higher responsibilities, higher grade and incremental benefits but that doesn’t mean that they are bad. Anything that helps one to learn and contribute at the same time and creates value to the overall ecosystem is good and positive. We can always gain more from a change if we can look at it from an opportunity perspective.
An interesting question during change, does this change affect the company values. Answer is “Not always “. One of the occasion to validate how well as an organization we live with our core company values is at the time of change. The leadership team should ensure that we instills the core values of the organization during the complete change management journey.
Remember, that ‘Change always gives new Perspectives in life!’
–By Manu. M [HR Director, Volvo Group India]
Manu is a seasoned Global HR Strategic professional with 18 years of experience in working with large, complex, multi- cultural and Matrix Organizations.
Currently member of the Volvo Group India Country HR Leadership Team and Heading HR for multiple units and functions at Volvo Group India. Some of the previous roles within Volvo Group includes Global Unit HR Business Partner and Head HR for units with diverse business background. Have also been a part of driving a culture rejuvenation journey in Volvo Group India.
Rich Expertise in Organizational Development, Culture Transformation, Leadership Development, Talent Management, HR Consulting, Employee Engagement, and Recruiting.Manu is a mentor and coach for budding leaders.
He loves dreaming . Strong business acumen and result oriented professional with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) specialization in HR & Marketing.