Change happens every day in any organisation. New initiatives and projects are launched on virtually a daily basis – to increase profits, to boost the competitive advantage, or to boost productivity and performance. But these days change is happening at a faster pace and with greater frequency. Companies cannot afford to believe that ‘if it isn’t broken, there’s no need to fix it’ in today’s climate. Organisations that do so will soon fall behind the competition. Change is no longer something that might just happen every 2 or 3 years.
Companies now face change faster. It is more complicated and cross-functional, and only businesses that can deliver these changes will be able to attain their strategic vision and thrive and continue to compete in today’s fast-changing landscape.
This is why change management is so important. Not only does it enable companies to deliver results on various aspects of change, change management also builds competencies and capacity at the same time – putting the organisation in a position of strength with the ability to take on multiple changes at any one time.
Of course, there is a very simple way of explaining why change management is so fundamentally important to an organisation. Regardless of what the initiative is or what its intended outcomes are, there will be a common denominator: the people in the organisation. New initiatives will affect how individuals do their work: their roles, their workflows, or their processes. An employee’s identity within an organisation can even be changed.
Change management is the approach to take to drive through successful adoption of new initiatives to ensure that the desired results and outcomes are achieved. This is why it is so important.
Successful change is dependent on people. Change is undertaken within an organisation to improve performance in some way. In today’s workplace much of the change we see is as a result of new technology being implemented: a software solution, automation, or new features of some kind. Some of the improvement to an organisation might come from the software being installed, but much of the benefit and improved performance will be inextricably linked
to how employees change how they do their work. If new software is installed, it is vital that staff embrace it and fully understand how to use it. Otherwise, investing in the software will have been a waste. A clear benefit of change management is that it focuses on enabling individuals to change the way they do their jobs.
Often with organisational change a gap forms between the requirements and the results that are actually delivered. In essence, that gap is people. Another clear benefit of change management is that it enables the gap to be narrowed by supporting employees to bring the necessary change to life through the way they work.
Change management also significantly increases the chances of a project succeeding. Excellent change management will increase the likelihood of an organisation meeting objectives six fold. Unsurprisingly, Big Data shows that ROI from excellent change management is much greater than where the change management in place is poor. However, simply moving from ‘poor’ to ‘fair’ or ‘satisfactory’ can increase the likelihood of project success by as much as three times. Therefore, investing considerably in change management to ensure that an organisation gets it right is one of the most important investments a company can make.