Updated: Mar 21
In every aspect of life, change is inevitable. Evolution and progression are unavoidable, and that’s no different in the world of business.
It is, therefore, essential to not only be prepared for organisational change, but to also fully understand what such change entails, how it can benefit your organisation, and what the potential pitfalls are liable to be.
So, with that in mind, what are the key things that you must consider prior to committing to significant change within your operation?
The reason for the change
This is the very first thing you need to consider. And, while it may sound obvious, you would be surprised by how many CEOs decide that their companies need to be freshened up or renovated simply because they decide it’s time. Change, as we’ve established, is essential, but it has to be done for the right reasons; never commit to change simply for the sake of it.
The reason for change should either be because you want to increase levels of efficiency, need to increase production, or are looking to expand your company’s overall offering. Once you have a just reason for change, you need to consider what such change is likely to look like, how you will achieve it, and how you will ensure that employees are fully aware of what is happening.
How to effectively communicate change
When committing to change in any business, regardless of size or industry, it is crucial that every alteration and the reason for it is communicated effectively with employees, and potentially suppliers and consumers.
If there is a valid reason for organisational change, which there should be, it will be relatively simple to state the key reasons around your decision-making process, and the desired long-term outcomes. Remember that efficient change is only truly possible if your employees are not only on board, but are fully aware of their role in implementing it.
According to research carried out by Dr Philippe Ruiz of Kedge Business School, Bordeaux, 57% of all change initiatives fail because of breakdowns in communication, which highlights how essential it is.
How to track the success of change
Of course, once you’ve committed to introducing a major change within your company, you need to figure out how best to assess whether the change has been successful. If your aim is to streamline operations, how will you track whether you have achieved your goals? If it is to free up employees to carry out other types of work, how will you figure out if this has enhanced your company’s operational structure?
On top of this, it is also vital to realise that any change means stepping into the unknown. With this in mind, you must be prepared to alter your initial plans if required so as to guarantee long-term prosperity. Research published in Harvard Business Review suggests that 70% of change initiatives fail, and that is often due to a failure to plan for all potential eventualities.