All businesses go through phases which involve major change of some sort. These changes may be in business models, infrastructure, product delivery or adapting to shifts in the marketplace. No one can afford to stand still as the world evolves around us. Change management can be used to drive substantial improvements across an organisation.
In today’s businesses, change typically occurs in one of three areas; technology, culture or service. Starting a journey of change in any of these areas will also affect the other two. You won’t be able to successfully support change without considering how all three areas interact with each other.
Both in business and our personal lives, we’ve become accustomed to technology changing the way we live, work and communicate. The case is often that we don’t choose these changes, but we’re forced to adapt as software and hardware is upgraded or phased out.
As well as keeping up with technology trends and market progress, technology change can come from looking at ways to innovate and improve the business through the use of IT. Businesses that choose to adopt new tools and systems can achieve better collaboration as well as more cost-effective service delivery but it’s crucial that you successfully manage the shift in operations that come with it.
It can be difficult to manage culture, making it difficult to change. However, it is a powerful force that can have a huge impact on things such as productivity, customer care, product quality and staff wellbeing. It’s easy to recognise culture when something is going wrong, but may not be appreciated when all is well.
The most successful organisations are those that have been able to evolve in line with their market. Having the ability to change the way you provide your products or services could be the one thing that sets you aside from your competitors.
Many businesses start out being flexible, but gradually become more rigid as they grow and become established. It is easy to become obsolete by resisting change. The world moves very quickly and your business needs to keep up with trends to stay in touch with changing market needs.
In business, change is inevitable, whether it’s a choice we make or not. Rather than the term ‘change management’, we should perhaps be talking about ‘flux management’. It’s crucial to understand that what has worked in the last five years may not work in the next five years.
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