“Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results”. – Einstein
If we look up the definition of change in the dictionary the following sentence will prevail: “An act or process through which something becomes different”. The deep emotion that will derive naturally during any change will be fear; Fear of the unexpected, fear of the unknown, fear of failure.
However, we experience change every day whether the change is imposed, or by choice; sudden or gradual. We frequently undergo a weather change, we evolve from being a baby, to a toddler, to a high school student, to a university student; from being protected to start protecting, from being single to getting married and so on. The good news is that we have found mechanisms to survive all of these changes, successfully or not, but with a large amount of learning and wisdom.
When it comes to organizations, change is becoming a must; a requirement in order to survive and sustain in this fast moving environment. We all have to accept it and embrace it, whether we are Shareholders, Directors, Leaders or Employees.
Why do organizations need to change fast?
1.) When we introduce a faster and more accurate way of retrieving/receiving information and data through the use of Technology, we definitely need to reconsider the way we do things. The faster we embrace the new technology and the less we resist it, the more effective we become.
2.) Whenever a Political Crisis arises, the stability of any organization will be shaken. New measures need to be immediately implemented in order to encounter potential obstacles. Any resistance from employees might endanger the future of the company.
3.)The ongoing Economic and Financial crisis is generating many challenges and changes whether the company is big or an SME. We can observe people being laid off, companies undergoing several restructuring, and drastic changes in companies’ values, mission, strategy and culture.
4.) In order to guarantee sustainable economic growth on a national and international level, companies are asked to abide by new Regulations such as governance, compliance, amendment of the code of conduct; this will result in a different way of performing work.
5.) When a company strategically decides to Add or Remove products or services, this will result in targeting different market segments or different clienteles. The work processes will need adjustments, as well as people capable to welcome the novelties.
6.) During Mergers & Acquisitions or downsizing, massive amount of changes will occur along with fear and uncertainty; some employees are scared to lose their job others to see their power reduced. The change “champions” are usually the ones who will climb the ladders quickly.
7.) Because of the fast growing Competition, companies may decide to change their customer service strategies in order to differentiate themselves from others. This will involve a drastic change in the way we deal with others and a tight alignment between the different departments.
Finally, whether we like it or not or are willing to embrace it or not, change is an integral part of today’s business climate: “We will not be able to solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” (Einstein).
Organizations need to have employees who are Champions of change or change agents for their team and their organization as a whole. However, it is crucial to assert that organizations play a major role in nurturing change agents. We will discuss this in our next publication.