Many organizations pursue the same changes, so it is a competitive advantage to be ready and able to change.
Change is necessary for organizations to grow, progress and innovate. Successful leaders today recognize that change enables success, so it is a competitive advantage to be able to effectively implement a change.
Make change management your organization’s competitive differentiator to be prepared and ready for the next necessary change.
Be more agile than your competitors
Many organizations are introducing changes or innovations that are comparable to the changes their competitors are making. They are making similar changes in similar ways.
Utilizing effective change management is the clear differentiator and the key to making progress ahead of others.
There are two parts of a successful initiative or project: the quality of the solution and the quality of the acceptance of that solution. Driving the best outcomes is dependent on a quality solution and gaining support from people to accept and adopt the solution.
Results = Quality of Solution x Acceptance of Solution
Similar solutions are being implemented by many organizations. This is why gaining acceptance and adoption is critical and the key to gaining the business results desired.
When change is necessary and required, the ability to devote appropriate attention and resources to implement and manage a change can make it happen faster, cheaper and with less pain. It will improve the acceptance – which contributes directly to the preferred results.
Rely on a dependable process
Many leaders are visionaries that can identify what needs to be done for organizations to succeed. Whether it is a new strategy for growth, efficiency or optimization, they have the ability to recognize what needs to be done to meet strategic business objectives.
After goals have been identified, the next step is determining when and how the goals will be achieved.
Change management is a dependable process for leaders to gain acceptance of an initiative (or more realistically, multiple initiatives). Even for the best solutions, results are improved when there is acceptance.
Make it easier to change
There are two general approaches to implement a change: directive or collaborative.
Directive: Leaders tell people to change. People change because they have to, not because they understand the reasons for the change.
Collaborative: Leaders and employees work together to understand, prepare for and undergo a change. People change because they support the ultimate goals and they want to change.
Both approaches can be effective and both have a role – the typical approach largely depends on the culture of the organization. It is often easier to change (especially when changes are regular and ongoing) by getting employees to be committed to the change through a collaborative approach.
In your organization, can you drive a competitive advantage with the assumption that people will do as they are told? Or are you better served by driving commitment? Change management helps leaders to guide their people to commitment and help them understand the ultimate goals.
Change fatigue is the product of continually forcing change on people or introducing competing changes. Change management provides tools to understand the full range of changes that are occurring (often simultaneously) in an organization, and it can identify the optimal approach to gain commitment from those affected by the changes.
How to make change management a competitive differentiator
Change management will be a competitive differentiator when it is part of your organization’s DNA. It requires committed leaders from all levels and perseverance to institutionalize change management.
We have seen companies approach change management at varying paces, but the path to success tends to follow three key objectives:
1. Introduce change management to critical projects
Change management is often introduced into companies by its application to specific projects. These initiatives may be critical, complex or large in scale, so change management is relied upon to improve the chance of success. Organizations rely on consulting engagements or training workshops to support change, specific to the needs of the project.
If you are preparing for or working on a project where success is important, introduce change management to improve the adoption and acceptance of the change.
2. Advocate for change management
The applications for change management go beyond must-win projects, massive transformations or complex changes. Advocates for change management recognize that it is central to the future success of the business, and it is an advantage that can be developed within their organization’s processes and people.
Advocate for change management treating it as a change project itself. Use the Managed Change methodology to understand the elements of an effectively managed change and gain the support of your leaders so they will say, "Yes – we recognize that change management is a core competency and we will actively engage in and sponsor the efforts required to make it so."
3. Institutionalize change management
The desired state is an organization where change management is an integral part of every change – big and small, site-specific and global, at the top of the organization and for every individual.
Change enables success, and change management is the competitive advantage to make change more effective. As your organization faces the challenges necessary to remain competitive, use change management to be one step ahead of others.