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Change – love it or loathe but don’t ignore it!

Achievement of your business vision will be challenging but however you choose to travel your business journey, being successful is without doubt rewarding. However, you need to be continually aware of what is happening around you in your business environment and conscious of the existence of ever present change, especially considering how your business will look when we eventually emerge from the current economic landscape.

Change is inevitable, how we accept and deal with it is the challenge.

Statistically 75% of change initiatives will fail to achieve their objectives. Primarily because of a lack of understanding of how to execute the key elements. Too much focus on the process, managing the tasks, to the detriment of the transition, the essential change elements.

Another component that must be taken into consideration is the nature of the change, there is no unique approach to change management and change leadership that will ensure success in every situation. A textbook approach that talks about culture, vision, engagement, etc, will only take you so far, until the nuances and dynamics of the business and the reality of the implications of the change make an impact. Discovering and applying the essential tools will ensure your business positively embraces change and successfully achieves its goal with robust results. Thus avoiding a high risk of failure with the consequential financial impact.

Experienced and expert Change Leaders not only get near-term improvements they also successfully build their business’s capacity to learn and keep changing over time – keeping them ahead of the pack. This blog provides a brief overview of what you need to consider if you are pivoting your business towards new horizons or a new mode of operation.

  1. Knowing precisely where you are today is the first step towards change.
  2. Set an aspiring vision of what is to be achieved and be passionate about being different.
  3. Leaders of most failed change initiatives go straight from aspiration to action. But you can’t know what actions to take if you don’t have a clear view of the capabilities you’ll need to develop to make the change robust.
  4. Be as clear about what the business won’t do anymore as about what it needs to do.
  5. Don’t underestimate the amount of time, effort and cost that is needed to roll out change.
  6. Actually achieving your goal is not the end of the road. Plan for continuous improvement sustaining the benefit achieved. You need to invest in providing the expertise that will help the business to continue to improve and grow.

Make sure you avoid these common change management mistakes!

  1. Starting too late
  2. No clear strategy and an excessive open ended process
  3. Not talking to your employees from day 1 and along the entire change journey, especially with the informal organisation
  4. Failure to create a compelling case for change
  5. Not dealing pro-actively with resistance, assuming everyone shares the enthusiasm for change
  6. Inappropriate communication
  7. Lack of skills and resource
  8. Focussing only on the long term and failing to plan small incremental successes
  9. Using the wrong metrics to measure progress

Don’t be afraid to adapt and change, if things don’t work out the first time, analyse what didn’t work and try again.

But always be alert to change!

About the author - Michael Clerck

I have achieved significant, senior management experience working in a multinational manufacturing organisation and in SMEs across a range of business sectors. I have established a reputation for delivering positive results through instigating processes and the development of successful teams, setting benchmark metrics.

I now use my extensive knowledge and experience to work with business owners applying a portfolio of time proven tools focusing on developing the essential business management skills and attributes that create business resilience and generate robust growth. Achieving timely, positive results by instilling Focus, Structure and most importantly Accountability.

I am a volunteer business mentor with the Prince’s Trust and the local Chamber of Commerce and deliver a wide range of business related workshops and seminars.

My significant work experience is backed by qualifications in engineering, lean manufacturing, project management and business studies.

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Michael Clerck - Business Coach
Main image - Photo by Jud Mackrill on Unsplash