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Steps businesses can undertake to ensure successful change management


The only perpetual phenomenon is change. This statement holds true in every aspect of our business environment. The first half of the year 2020, demonstrated that unless businesses change with the tide and become more relevant they will become extinct as did the dinosaurs. Even so, change can present challenges for businesses, and needs to be expertly managed if the benefits of making these changes are to be realized.

However, change can be chaotic, non-linear with planned and unplanned consequences. Therefore, if our businesses are to effectively embrace change, then great attention must first be given to the people who are responsible for the success or failure of the change. This can be accomplished by encouraging stakeholders’ engagement, including employees in the planning and decision making process and effectively communicating with all affected, throughout the process. One of the main reasons why businesses do not enjoy the full benefits of change is because stakeholders feel excluded and disengaged during the process and hence pose great resistance to any implementation that is outside business as usual.

Scholars contented that learning and providing opportunities for feedback during the change process will allow a dynamic, emergent approach that is likely to be more successful than one which is rigidly planned and implemented without flexibility.

Nonetheless, there are five steps that a business can undertake to ensure successful change management. This week we will examine the first three steps. Prior to the implementation of organizational change on any scale, the need for change must be determined. This can be as a result of on-going business analysis, changes in the external business environment or the identification of new business opportunities. For many businesses worldwide, this step has been trigged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second step involves the development of a case for change, exploring options, conducting risk assessments and resource implications. As a business manager, although change may become necessary, it should not be taken lightly therefore, in dept research and data analysis better prepare the organization for any unforeseen challenges that may be associated with the change. Communicating the vision for change and the presentation of how the new implementation will improve the operations of the organization is the third step on the path to successfully managing change. This step is critical as its omission can determine the success or failure of the change process.

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Source: Dr. Wendyann Richardson – Refining Leaders Institute