Enterprise level change is difficult. There is no stopping the continued complexity and influx of change that organisations are continually facing year on year. Yet, there is a practice to increase an organisation's ability to respond to this increased volume of change.Developing enterprise level change management is critical in today’s environment to successfully manage the people side of change, thrive in ever-changing marketplaces and industries, ensure the success of projects and deliver maximum return on investment.
If you have ever questioned the value of change management practice, or have struggled to gain executive buy-in, then here are 5 core reasons why your organisation should be placing a focus on improving your enterprise change management competencies:
1. Sustaining a competitive advantage
Increasing your responsiveness when managing change at an enterprise level will ensure you can handle any emerging changes and improve your organisational agility overall within ever-changing marketplaces. In doing this, your organisation is more likely to successfully adapt to evolving marketplace needs and expectations, and can become a key competitive player within the market.
Market leaders are positioned as such due to their ability to fully realise the impact of effectively managing change and the importance of embedding change management processes into the very foundations of their enterprise. They remain competitive in their markets as they appreciate that slow response to market changes can affect their position with both net new and existing customers, and they recognise the negative effects that poorly managed change can have on employee resistance. The bottom line is to be ahead of the curve, you must focus on improving enterprise change management competency.
2. Building common approaches
According to Prosci research, change management practices are more effective when there is a standard approach in place to follow. There is success in the use of consistent change management approaches that are adopted throughout the organisation. Building core competencies in change management means requires it to be internalised into an organisation’s culture and not treated as an after-thought.
Common change processes and tools should be used throughout the organisation and should be able to be applied to every single project and business function; ensuring their continuous application. Standardising the overall change management process will help to ensure everybody is speaking the same language when discussing change initiatives and allow best practices to be more easily shared across business functions.
3. Become future-proof
Think about the last decade and how much enterprises have had to change to not only survive in their markets, but become future-proof. With emerging technologies and evolving business models, strategies that will secure the organisation's future must be developed and actioned to effectively respond to innovation and change.
Organisations need to consider designing a structured and intentional plan to improve their change management maturity, evolving to internalise great change management in the majority of changes they undertake, allowing them to become more responsive to the changing business world around them.
4. Individuals can build their own competencies
At its core, enterprise change management starts first with individuals building their own personal change competency. Enterprise level change can only be successful when employees, line managers and senior leaders realise the value of people change and are willing and able to drive and promote the change. Arming them with the necessary change skills and knowledge will help to speed up this change process; helping to reach business objectives and outcomes every time.
Due to the volume of change that occurs in today’s organisations it is important that those who will be directly impacted by these changes, primarily the line managers and front-line employees, can handle the changes occurring. Therefore, if employees are your most important asset, then it is the time to prove it. Otherwise, your organisation may be weighed down with employee resistance which will become a barrier to improving business performance.
Beyond singular employees, leaders and managers should be coached and trained to assist with handling change. If they are well trained, they can become sponsors and promoters of change within the organisation, making transition periods much easier and increasing the likelihood of successful enterprise level change.
5. The risk and cost of failed change
If you have never experienced a failed or difficult period of change, then your organisation must be doing something right. We have seen it all before - a project that has gone over budget, change that has incited resistance from employees, change that has not achieved the right results - the list is endless. Whatever the reason for the change failing, it could have been mitigated through building core change competencies.
Change is not cheap for many organisations, especially when changes do not meet their ROI projections due to a lack of adoption and usage by impacted employees. Implementing new software applications or upgrading systems that have to be used across the entire organisation can impact how hundreds of individuals conduct their jobs. Therefore, if employees are not on board with the change then the organisation may have wasted a vast amount of capital. It is situations like this could have been avoided through a better, more structured management of the change process.
Overall, improving change management competencies helps to reduce the risk of poorly managed change and increase the likelihood of success on critical projects and initiatives so that your organisation can reap the expected benefits.
If you found this article useful or if any of these reasons resonate with you, then please take a look at our courses on the link below. Our courses follow the market-leading Prosci change management methodology, in use by 80% of the Fortune 100 largest organisations in the world, and will equip you with the essential skills and framework to transform the responsiveness of your organisation.