Future megatrends, digitalization and connectivity are the words which are prevailing at big corporations as well as small businesses. Each and every company has realized it has to re-define its strategy in order to keep up with a dynamic and saturated market and even more difficult issue – picky and spoiled customer.
Now let us take a simple trade company. One of the not that rare scenarios is that management on a high level either reads an article about the new trend, sees it on the news or sees in which way the competitor on the market is changing and takes a decision follow the trend as well or just copy actions of a competitor.
So what happens next? Big management meeting takes place with a lot of talks that “we have to change the direction fast, if we want to stay profitable” and “there is a need in changing of the vision, mission and strategy”. At the end of the meeting the decision is taken to communicate the new strategy to the middle management and work the changes top to down and it has to happen as fast as possible.
Most of the times those fancy words are not properly explained and explored, middle management is stressed out because of the lack of knowledge and implementation time limits set by CEOs and simple workers have to work on something they have no idea of and therefore are afraid of it.
Here are usual reasons for failures in implementing the change management are:
- Low information transparency: workshops and detailed explanations have been taken part only on the management level
- Fear of change on the middle management level: when the manager is not in a hurry to implement the changes because of the personal lack of interest or fear
- Incorrect personnel choices: it is when one chooses a wrong person for the role of change officers
- Different knowledge level: there is a big difference in the knowledge and innovations-acceptance level in different ressourts of the company (for ex.: logistics vs. eCommerce)
- Unifications of the tools: choosing all the same communication tools for workers from different ressourt (for ex.: marketing and quality department)
- Lack of information transparency: considering some of the stuff as not important for implementing the changes (worker at the production site)
- Lack of the preparation: maybe trial and error works in private life, but not on that level in the company
- Poor information flow: key parties responsible for training other colleagues have failed at their task
Nevertheless, there are ways to reduce the risks:
- Hire professionals: no need to be afraid to hire a consultant or an external person who has experience with simular projects
- Create extra positions: special positions like change management officer may be another pillar for the project
- Make sure software is being developed on a high level: an investment into super user friendly online shop or internal data bank always makes sence
- Provide workshops on any level and in any area of responsibility: explain even to the worker at a factory why he has to make it this way now. This way the whole company will have a spirit of change and work for one goal
- Put way more time in communicaiton and explanation in order to eliminate fear
- (Let) design the implementation process and model specifically for your company
- Quality and uniformity: workshops, information and communiction is the same at every level and position in the company
- Pick personnel wisely: not only colleague who has been at the comapny since the very beginning deserves to take a lead, but a colleague who has a right set of mind
- Create an extra crossfunktional team extra for implementing the strategy change – it is impressive how much more productive people are of they now this is their core task. Also, you will be impressed to see how many colleagues will be eager to become a part of the innovative team implementing those changes
- Start with a detailed exploration of the status quo in the company
Get impressed! – you know you like it.