CHANGE MANAGEMENT

What it is, how to implement it in your company and best examples

What does it mean to implement a Change Management process? It means implementing change in the company by managing it through a series of structured activities. Innovation is essential for a company’s survival or growth in a constantly changing market. An entrepreneurial entity ready to change its mindset, adapt to new customer demands, adopt new technologies and tools, and optimize its processes is more likely to remain competitive in the market.

The expression Change Management has become very popular in the last year, during which the COVID-19 pandemic has required everyone to change their daily habits. Business activities have had to evolve, adapting to significant social, technological, and global market changes.

The goal of a Change Management strategy is to implement a transformation effective leadership, guiding employees to accept and adapt to workplace changes to stay up-to-date with the times, is essential. In this process, the company is not alone: it can rely on the support of a Change Manager, a professional capable of understanding the challenges to be faced, adequately preparing people for evolution, and implementing innovation in the company.
Keep on reading, and together we will explore:

  • what is meant by Change Management
  • why evolving corporate management is important
  • what the Change Management process entails
  • the best examples of change management.

Once you have gathered all the information, you will be more aware of the changes every company should undergo. If you are ready to embrace them, you can begin to innovate your business through a corporate digitization journey.

What is Change Management

Change Management, by definition, is the management of change. It is a process tasked with guiding individuals and organizations in applying knowledge, tools, and resources to effectively address external and internal changes within the corporate context.
There are various reasons why a company may need a transformation:

  • continuous technological advancements;
  • internal process evaluations;
  • responses to crises;
  • changes in customer demand;
  • competitive pressures;
  • acquisitions, mergers, and organizational renewals.

A significant organizational change can be challenging to implement. It often requires multiple levels of cooperation and involves various independent entities within an organization. To achieve an effective organizational change strategy, one must consider all the elements at play, summarized in the four pillars of Change Management, known as the 4P model:

  • people: people are the most crucial element of the process; without their contribution, innovation cannot occur. Therefore, it is essential to educate them about change, explaining the importance and benefits of corporate evolution.
  • process: improvement involves changing processes to make them more modern, efficient, and digitalized.
  • platform: innovation primarily occurs through the introduction of new digital technologies capable of enhancing performance.
  • place: the work environment must be reimagined according to new concepts of agile and flexible work.

Change Management is often associated with the digital transformation phase, the process that enables companies to digitize through the use of new technologies and digital tools.

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Why implementing change in the company is important

In a world where technology, consumer needs, and competition are constantly evolving, corporate Change Management is crucial. Let me explain why:

  • it can ensure that companies, through well-structured planning, remain at the forefront over time;
  • it provides processes, means, and systems to help manage change;
  • it provides tools to effectively leverage new technologies;
  • it enables achieving desired business results.

Furthermore, effective Change Management contributes to resolving issues such as:

  • lack or absence of communication between corporate teams, managers, and stakeholders
  • insufficient customer focus
  • ineffective budget management.

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How to implement the Change Management process

Managing organizational change requires planning, preparation, and a willingness to engage in dialogue and mediation.
To be effective, the Change Management process must consider how an adjustment or replacement will impact processes, systems, and employees within the company. It is not a single procedure but is divided into three macro phases necessary to ensure its smoothness and effectiveness:

  1. preparation
  2. elaboration
  3. implementation

Preparation
The first phase of Change Management involves a formal action plan to define communication strategies and policies.
Employee knowledge and understanding are among the most important factors in the restructuring of the company. It is therefore important to show them why the change is important, highlighting the benefits and potential challenges of implementation. Motivating and guiding employees to a positive mindset during this phase is key, in order to reduce resistance to innovation and avoid relapse into old habits.
For this reason, a leader with an effective communication strategy must be in place to facilitate a successful start throughout the process. The wrong way to communicate organizational change can lead to a serious reaction, in terms of morale and trust of management in the company not everyone will embrace the change immediately, but starting out by adopting a better staffing strategy, we will have a better perspective on the Change Management approach.

Elaboration
Once the organization is ready to embrace the “new,” it needs to develop a comprehensive and realistic plan for the change management process.

plan for management process
The plan should define the following:

  • strategic objectives;
  • metrics of production;
  • instructions for use;
  • project group;
  • stakeholders;
  • the person responsible for implementing the system.

The strategy requires agility and flexibility to overcome any uncertainties or obstacles that may arise in the implementation process.

Implementation
At the end of the elaboration phase, all parameters are available for use in the change process.
During the implementation process, change managers should focus on the ability of their employees to take the necessary steps to achieve the goals of the program. They should do their best to anticipate, eliminate, or mitigate obstacles when they are identified. Ongoing communication of organizational goals is essential to remind team members why change is occurring.
Without proper planning, employees can revert to the “old ways,” especially during a transition period. Changes incorporated into company culture and practices reduce the potential for disruption. Organizational innovation, management, and reward systems should be viewed as tools for promoting innovation.

 

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Who manages corporate change

The Change Manager is primarily responsible for the company’s innovation process. They work with business leaders to implement the Change Management journey.
They are crucial in assessing the initial state of the company, defining and executing the strategic plan, and communicating with the teams. Therefore, they need to understand corporate strategies, be knowledgeable about the dynamics of the new economy, and have good negotiation and mediation skills.
They use a variety of Change Management tools, which are necessary to manage change and to support company employees in this delicate process
The educational background of change managers varies; Typically, they are finance graduates who specialize in resource management or organizational design. This professional activity is struggling to develop because only a few companies delegate the change process to specialists. However, those who are able to position themselves as Change Managers can have excellent career and salary opportunities.

Change Management: successful corporate examples

It lies between Change Management implementation and development. Some reinforcements include explicit elements of corporate change, which were also brought about by the pandemic that acted as an accelerant to existing trends.

change management implementation
This is especially evident when setting priorities. They are exploring new ways of working, greater use of technology and leadership models, all driven by the need for proximity, empathy, and cooperation.
Some of the industry organizations have been able to implement truly effective innovation journeys, thereby creating case studies to analyze and use as models Here are three successful examples of change management.

Nokia
Throughout history, Nokia has made various changes to its business model with new tools and corporate policies.
One of the main reasons why Nokia implemented its corporate transformation strategy was the introduction of smartphones by its competitors. So, what it did was:

  • implement a change program called Booster, which involved corporate restructuring to accelerate production and innovation.
  • gradual transformation from mobile hardware manufacturer to provider of network infrastructure.

This strategic change was particularly effective as it enabled Nokia to transition from a primarily mobile infrastructure provider to a network infrastructure provider and emerge successfully.

Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola also, in order to meet the new needs of its consumers and effectively manage competition, introduced a change plan:

  • the birth of a new recipe called New Coke with a sweeter taste;
  • the return to the original recipe called Coca-Cola Classic;
  • the introduction of new types of drinks like Coca-Cola Light and Coca-Cola Zero to attract new consumer groups;
  • variations in product offerings, including new beverage concepts such as Fuze Tea.

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AULSS 5 Polesana
What I’m talking about now is an interesting case of Change Management in healthcare that reveals how human resource management represents the real core business of a corporate entity: an increase in well-being translates to an increase in performance.
As described in the study, in conjunction with the renewal of the managerial team of the UOC (Complex Operating Unit) of Laboratory Medicine at AULSS 5 Polesana, a statistical investigation into well-being within the team was conducted. The questionnaire, administered in 2010, revealed factors of general dissatisfaction. The new leadership, in an effort to resolve the situation, decided to implement a series of organizational change strategies such as on-the-job training, managerial transparency, and shift schedule revisions.
In 2016, employees were given another questionnaire, and the results were completely different. The progress made through the implementation of Change Management was evident: a clear improvement in the well-being and satisfaction of workers in their relationships with colleagues, superiors, the workplace in general, and in terms of personnel safety.

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Conclusion and strategic consulting

The ability to evolve through the adoption of effective Change Management strategies is now the key to business success.
This process starts with the employee, who must be open-minded, forward-thinking, and willing to embrace change, and ripples through the company’s structure, personnel and systems. It hasn’t always been an easy road, but now it’s important to compete in the market.
If you also want your company to perform well in the long run, don’t wait. Take the first steps toward change by contacting an experienced consultant and defining your digital innovation strategy for the company of the future.

 

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