How Change Management Helps Company Adapt and Transition

Change Management Helps Company Adapt and Transition

Change can be a difficult process for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The digital age has thrown a lot at businesses, both large and small – from the rapid development of social media platforms, and the increasingly connected nature of the corporate world. 

Having the staff and structures to understand and adapt to change can be vital in helping companies successfully adapt and transition to current practices. Let’s explore some of the issues that you’ll explore when undertaking your graduate certificate in change management, and how you can work through them to become an invaluable asset to your team.

Overcoming Resistance and Change Refusal

Resistance might be helpful when you’re working out at a gym, but it can be extremely difficult in a corporate environment. In fact, in the field of change management, resistance can often prove fatal to innovation and change in the workplace. Did you know that up to 70% of all change initiatives fail within businesses, for a variety of reasons?

Understanding the elements that can be in play within organisations when undertaking change can be key to driving the success of such changes. Additionally, it may also assist in boosting corporate culture, and reducing the risk of change failure, by actively engaging stakeholders in the change process, whether that be through committees, focus groups, or product feedback sessions.

By bringing stakeholders into the change process, they can feel valued and empowered to know that a procedure isn’t simply being brought in to make a dollar. By prosecuting the argument that change can help your team, rather than distress them, you can help change corporate culture for the better.

If You Don’t Change, Your Competitors Will

A critical element of change management is keeping in mind what your competitors are doing. After all, companies tend to fall behind and sometimes fail, if they stick to the same practices and refuse to adapt to change. An example of this is the decline in the fried chicken brand KFC in the US in recent years, as they fail to adapt to a diversifying market in the fried chicken innovation wars.

It’s important that any change that is made is done with respect to the existing products and services that a business offers. New products can often be a minefield for change agents – consider the failure to launch products such as New Coke in the 1980s.

For every failure, there are many overwhelming successes. For every New Coke, there’s a Pepsi Max – it’s good to keep in mind that not all products fail and that change can be beneficial to your business, most of the time.

Embrace Meaningful Change – It’s Often Inevitable

For many stakeholders, change can be seen as negative – particularly when it’s associated with negative outcomes, such as product failures. For example, food and drink such as New Coke, or Kraft’s iSnack 2.0. After all, no business wants to be intentionally mired in controversy, particularly if it’s over a name, and not the product itself.

Engaging with the process, as a change agent, you should consider exploring meaningful change with the teams you work with. While products don’t always have to be large, flashy, and innovative, considering a small change such as an improved label or manufacturing procedure can lead to larger, more meaningful improvements down the line.

Adapting to Changing Business Practices

As a change agent, it’s important to encourage businesses to be willing to take on change and to understand that while sometimes a bad decision will be made, ultimately, change can do far more to benefit a business than hinder it.

A contemporary example of this is something that most shoppers don’t even think about these days – how shoppers pay for their products in-store. While modern payments take mere seconds, and can sometimes be done with your phone or even a smartwatch, the path to getting these technologies in-store was difficult. Stakeholders refused to connect, banks and digital providers wouldn’t communicate, and innovations took many years to progress.

At the end of the day, the innovation was adopted, the change implemented, and end users are able to experience the benefits of modern, flexible payment technologies. Change doesn’t have to be a hindrance to the products and customers you connect with – it can be a massive advantage if leveraged correctly.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.