By Tom Chapman
Organizational change is a daunting subject, but it may be a necessity if your business isn't performing as you’d hoped. In many cases, companies are held back by their reluctance to alter anything, whether it’s through fear of getting it wrong or just plain laziness.
Instead of falling behind and potentially causing long-term damage, see the idea of change as another opportunity to get things right. The key is to go in with confidence, and to know exactly what needs to happen.
With that in mind, below are some tips to help you prepare, and to get the results you expect.
Be completely honest
Sticking with that opening point, don’t procrastinate: The first step to successful organizational change is to admit that something actually needs changing. Be honest about the things that aren’t right at present, and openly discuss the ideal situation. Where would you like to be in a year’s time? How about five years? Which processes frustrate you? Is everybody in their best possible role?
The fear of being accused of failure leads so many companies ignore the truth, but this is counterproductive. Be realistic not only about what’s wrong right now, but also about what you’re capable of doing to change it. Bite off more than you can chew and your effort will likely go to waste.
Secrecy is a dangerous thing in business – your workforce won’t take kindly to being left completely out of the loop, and they certainly won’t be as open to change if they’re not sure of the reasoning behind it.
Instead of assuming your answers are the right ones, keep an open conversation with your workforce and take their concerns and suggestions seriously. This change might be your idea but they’re the ones who will be affected most on a day-to-day basis, and they’ll need to be on your side for it all to go smoothly.
Map out the process
When you know what you want to achieve and have an idea of how you’re going to get there, start mapping out the plan in a way that makes it clear to everyone involved. It’s not enough to have an idea, send out an email and expect everyone to make it happen – the process must be organized from the start.
Use this map as an opportunity to pinpoint the areas in which employees will be affected when things start to change. Regardless of whether it’s a shuffle of team structure or just the introduction of a new IT system, your employees will be much more cooperative if they know what’s happening in advance.
Don’t be afraid to learn
Leading organizational change requires knowledge and skill, so think about how you might be able to acquire more of both. You may well have gone through similar projects in the past, in which case take what you can from these experiences, but also look at opportunities to learn from other experts.
There are plenty of courses out there designed to help you become a better business leader, and many focus on subjects like growth and transition. Below are some examples:
University of East Anglia (UEA) - MSc Management
Wherever you are in your business journey, this course at UEA promises to improve your knowledge and understanding of finance, corporate governance, marketing and organizational behavior.
University of Birmingham – Online MBA (Masters in Business Administration)
This wholly online course is the first of its kind to be accredited by the Association of MBAs, and is designed for professionals with at least three years of management experience. It provides key insights into effective modern business practices, covering everything from marketing to accountancy.
Ashridge Executive Education – Masters in Organizational Change
As the name suggests, this course focuses specifically on organizational change, making it the perfect choice for your preparation. Over a period of 18 months, it’ll look at a range of proven, research-backed approaches, giving you skills to apply almost immediately.
University of Portsmouth – Executive MBA
This internationally recognized business management degree aims to develop your leadership skills using a range of expert-led masterclasses and effective group projects. Regular guest lectures are another benefit of the course.
Be ambitious and prepare!
Success comes with achieving the objectives you set for yourself and your business. And if you’re not quite on track with those goals, change may be the only option. With all of the above in mind, take the time to prepare properly, otherwise you risk wasting your time and everybody else’s.
Image credit: Pixabay
Tom Chapman is a content specialist for Vertical Leap – A search marketing agency based in Portsmouth and London, UK – He has excellent knowledge of marketing as well as technical matters such as the Internet of Things.