Anna Preston

Why do Organisations Implement Strategic Change?

Without change; everything stagnates and that includes businesses too. The world in general is in a constant state of flux and so it should be no real surprise to learn that companies rarely remain static because they are subject to and affected by commercial, institutional and market forces.

Here are 10 examples of when change consultants are commonly consulted:-

1. A crisis

2. New technology

3. Recognition of new opportunities

4. A reaction to internal pressure/demands or those from external sources

5. Under performing/failing to meet objectives

6. Mergers and acquisitions

7. Staff changes – new manager = new ideas

8. Reallocation of resources

9. Abandonment of declining products/markets etc

10. Business envy! Competing with similar business who are implementing change

A Game of Chess

In order to remain relevant, legal and competitively successful therefore, most organisations reach a point where they need to implement some form of change but just like chess; a wrong move could see them run into difficulties. Facilitation skills training can help companies execute successful change with “strategy”.

Change Versus Strategic Change?

The difference can be compared to what feels like overnight change compared to it being a process of calculated, even cunning moves. Not cunning in the sense of being dishonest with employees who should be kept abreast of company changes as much as possible but savvy in the sense that change is difficult for most people to accept and so it is best accepted in stages. Change that is suddenly sprung on employees is known to cause anger, fear and a sense of lied to or being betrayed – none of which promotes good working relationships, loyalty and productivity!

The Moves

Just like the Queen on a chessboard can move anywhere and however she pleases; senior management and executives – when following a successful model of change – will encourage all employees to participate and this inclusion will allow for communicating (including grievances), debating (including feedback) and the final stage of actually beginning to implement change. This will likely involve restructuring; perhaps redundancies and also new systems and procedures to be followed. Again; a lengthy period of time as is financially viable for staff to adapt will actually pay dividends in the long run. Not just in terms of increased knowledge and productivity but also in terms of strong working relationships and a sense of having come through the changes together.

Timing

As well as including all employees within the process of change as early as possible; strategic change also takes into account the need to explain to employees exactly why the change is necessary so that through the process of inclusion described above; the need for change becomes both established and widely accepted by even the most reluctant of staff. When everyone realises that it’s for the good of the company as a whole even if it does involve a few losses or difficulties – most employees will understand that it’s the only sensible and realistic course of action to take.

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