Successful organisations develop, implement and maintain strategic plans that ensure the business adapts and thrives regardless of the changes to regulation and compliance, the competition, or the impacts of disruptive technologies.
Carrying out these strategic plans often involves one or more of:
- Implementing technology related projects
- Carrying out operational improvements at a functional and/or process level
- Reskilling sections of the workforce
- Improving employee engagement
- Tuning the company culture to keep pace with the strategic changes and to societal expectations
These activities have a higher probability of successful implementation in organisations where Leadership fully appreciates the importance of undertaking rigorous organisational Change Management programs as integral parts of any strategic change effort. Implementing strategic shifts in an organisation’s position are disruptive to any business and it is vital that this disruption is managed to drive the best commercial outcome for a business. This is the reason to be strategic about Change Management.
"Don’t just think about the Change Management implications as a separate project associated with the implementation of a strategic plan, but, look at how management of organisational change need to be incorporated into all components of a strategic plan."
Some of the questions that are asked by Leadership when considering strategic change are:
- What do we need our organisation’s culture to be like in 5 years given that “X” disruptive technologies will impact our industry?
- What skills will our workforce need in 2-3 years to be able to deliver the services we plan on introducing during the next 5 years?
- What technologies do we need to introduce and how will this impact our workforce – skills, engagement, geography/locations, loss of experience and knowledge of the business?
An organisation needs to have a clear vision that explains the strategic plans to the various stakeholder groups and it is vital that each impacted stakeholder has a clear view of how they may play their part helping the organisation realise this vision. Stakeholders need to be able to understand:
- How does the vision and its related messages support the components of the strategic plan?
- How are stakeholders in related business units impacted by this plan?
- What do they need to do to thrive in the future?
In highly successful organisations, Change Management is not just viewed as a component of a strategic plan, but it is seen as an essential element of every Change Management program. Leadership understands that a key determinant of success associated with any new program, large or small, is the quality of design and implementation of the associated Change Management program.
Developing a Change Management strategy provides direction and purpose for Change Management plans associated with projects and operational improvements. As with successful program management where projects often have other project dependencies, Change Management is not an isolated event but needs to be incorporated into the fabric of an organisation so it can quickly and effectively respond to strategic and operational change, a never ending occurrence in so many organisations today.
Written by: Frank Yarsley
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