President Woodrow Wilson made the statement in the title of this article almost a century ago. He had one thing in common with us: he was trying to get people to do things that they had not thought of for themselves. Human nature has not changed. People, in general, hate change, especially if they don’t understand it.
Companies mainly need to be good at internal change in response to constant changes that they face in the environment in which they act. In a competitive marketplace, adapting to change is a differentiating factor between success and failure of businesses. In the end, how many world-renowned companies succumbed to the changes they faced and eventually failed?
The ability to react to those changes in the market is one key to keeping a company vibrant and profitable. Often, those changes drive the need for corresponding changes within the organization in response.
According to a report by Changefirst, a software and consulting firm, Change Management can make a substantial difference in project success. The potential financial returns can be extraordinarily high; you can expect to see a return of 650% for every dollar spent by an organization on Change Management. The research also found that overall 67% of people believed their initiatives had a positive impact on customer service.
Although important for the growth of any business, implementing structural, strategic and tactical changes in a company is far from being a simple assignment. Recent research shows that 1 in 3 companies, an alarming number, is going to disappear in the short term on account of “not adapting to change.”
The main obstacles are fear of the unknown, the limited vision of upper management about its benefits and the difficulty of understanding the changes. For this reason, it is up to Management to plan actions that reduce resistance, to clearly define the roles of everyone within the process and determine and communicate the final objective of the change.
The effectiveness of implementing and maintaining the change process depends on several factors, such as:
Transparency in conducting the process so that everyone involved is able to understand and engage with it;
Assess return on investment, considering the benefits to the organization and the cost of implementation;
Understand the nature of development methods and know how to stimulate it;
Neutralize constraints and fears for success.
What specific things can organizations do to effectively manage change? In the next article, we will give some tips for you to overcome likely resistance and reach the future state within your timeframe and budget.
And have you already gone through some change process? Do you believe that your company’s resilience was augmented through that experience? Share your comments with us below.