An Unpredictable Future: How Will Your Business Manage Change?

All businesses have to manage change and never more so than in today’s ever-changing environment. In our global arena that is being revolutionised by technology, where everyone is listening, commenting and demanding more, it can feel like the floor is constantly shifting under your feet.

Even if you didn’t see it coming, what will differentiate your business from those that die a quiet death is how you deal with these changes; how quickly you get back up from being broad-sided and adapt.

roll with the punches

Managing change is often much easier said than done. From a new computer system to a revised marketing strategy, change is difficult for any business and as such needs to be handled with care.

Although ever-looming change can sound scary, if viewed with a positive spin it can be the life-force of your business. You don’t need to be able to anticipate the exact nature of the change to profit from it. Having a business model that is able to successfully adapt to and implement change means you will fare much better than those businesses that cling to old practices, fearful of anything new.

plan for the unpredictable

A successful business needs to be able to cope with and profit from whatever is thrown at it, within reason. Change is both unpredictable and predictable, in that you can bet it’s coming but what form it’s going to take is unknown. However you know your business and this is where you have an advantage over the roll of the dice.

Having a well-designed business plan is your first line of defence; one that includes a formal risk assessment. This will make sure you have the strategies and tactics in place to tackle identifiable risks, although many changes you encounter will be external and as such less predictable.

By incorporating regular reviews into your planning – that go back and look at how things have changed, if you need to adapt in any way and what lessons have been learnt – your business will be in a much better position to identify and incorporate change when it’s needed.

Although it’s not just the people in the meeting rooms that you’ll need on-side.

it affects everyone

Change affects everyone; from the worries of the boardroom to those that will carry out the changes at tactical level. In order to adapt successfully everyone has to be informed and on board.

Just like a successful business strategy, change management must involve the stakeholders; those that will implement and work with the changes. This requires effective communication that lays out reasons and benefits and how it will affect people’s everyday roles.

It’s essential that the planning process for any change includes detail down to the tactical level and consideration of how it will affect staff in real ways. This needs to include a strategy for education and training and methods for dealing with reservations or resistance.

it’s emotional

When time and money are heavily invested into a business, emotions can run high and sometimes get in the way of both objective planning and implementation. Remove the unknowns as best you can. Informing, involving and training your staff will result in greater confidence, less fear of change and a motivation to make it work.

How well your business responds and utilises change will be determined from the ground up. So remember just because you understand, or even welcome, change it’s important that you have the force of your staff behind you as well.

 

Plan for the unpredictable. Make sure you have a business strategy and techniques in place that will help you know where you want to get to and how you’re going to get there; with the full investment of a motivated team that wants to grab change and make it work for the whole company.

How does your business cope with change? Is your business ready?

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