Monday, 19 august 2019 | Redacción CEU
Change is a constant principle in our life. Sometimes, we benefit from it. Other times, it makes us lose. Sometimes, it takes us by surprise. Other times, we look forward to its arrival. However, if there is a constant in change, it is its inspiring nature, as change always leads us to adopting new approaches, sharpening ingenuity and learning from our mistakes. Otherwise, we may be swallowed by it. Precisely, the business environment has never been exposed to so many changes in such a short period of time: the continuous technological advances, new organizational models used by digital companies, the clear fight for talent, changes in social habits, the increasing competitiveness,... Apparently nothing can be done when changes arise, but that is a wrong approach. If a company wants to succeed in such unstable and volatile environment, it has to be prepared to change, take advantage of what may come, as well as not be overwhelmed by it. Today, in the CEU IAM Blog, we analyze the keys to managing changes within companies.
Have you ever wondered how your company feels about change? It is very unlikely that an organization will react to change with indifference. Most organizations choose between two opposite attitudes. The first one is reactionary. For this type of organizations, change means an obstacle. It is an inconvenience, something that sows uncertainty. Then, they opt for the shortest formula: avoiding it, adopting a short-term solution, addressing it partially,... The second one is innovative. In this case, companies see change as an opportunity for growth and learning. It is easy to predict which one of these organizations has more chances to thrive in the work environment that has been described above.
A company which is opened to change is also, by definition, flexible, that is, it faces daily and temporary events in a natural way, without it bringing about the undermining of the foundations and structure of the company. It is also an organization that, as part of its normal activity, is prepared to react quickly to new contexts that, due to the current stage of digital transformation, have never been so numerous and frequent. In fact, this new approach of companies does not only consist of the ability to adapt to change, but the identification and benefit of new circumstances. Below, we offer a series of common characteristics that leads these organizations to facing change successfully:
Organizations have to stop seeing themselves as immutable entities to be able to adapt to changes and anticipate them. In order to achieve this, they need to adopt a shared approach that leads them to the involvement and commitment of all their target groups. Hence, this new vision must be transversal, since a large part of the success of a company requires the efforts of employees, not just leaders and managers. The experience of the different members of the business is crucial to detect and identify the new realities and the paths that can enable the company to become more productive. In turn, for employees to maintain a proactive attitude, they should have open spaces to participation and dialogue.
It is always important to have a clear roadmap. Adapting to new realities does not mean improvising or acting impulsively. The different contexts require a prior analysis and the processes of change need a relevant maturation time. In other words, change processes are closely linked to planning. When a change is not managed well, it may find opposition. Resistances and misgivings are always easier to manage when the different members of companies understand what the company wants to achieve, why it is necessary to change and what the transformation entails. On the other hand, organizations can seek inspiration in the work models of digital companies that, given the nature of their activity, have developed methodologies in line with change, for example, agile methodologies.
Being able to react to change implies being dynamic. That agility cannot be sustained without a fluent communication. Thus, communication plays a key role in adapting to any possible new contexts. Organizations must establish different and efficient channels that enable messages to be transmitted both bottom up and top down, so that the company can act quickly and comprehensively. Also, the more transparent is a company, the less fear and misgivings it generates.
A firm will not be able to manage change well, if innovation and creativity are not permeable values of its company's culture. Changing means leaving the comfort zone. It is important to keep in mind that changes are not only marked outside, they can also happen inside. In consequence, companies need to foster an open environment to learning, collaboration and experimentation, where mistakes are not punished and there are no silly questions.
At the CEU IAM Business School, we have designed an Executive MBA aimed at those professionals who have four or more years of experience and want to give a boost to their professional career. It is training that provides the skills, managerial competencies and tools which are necessary to face the new challenges successfully. With the help of remarkable professionals and a practical approach, EMBA's students will acquire the necessary skills in different areas of the company, while working on key dimensions such as innovation, entrepreneurship, social responsibility, internationalization and management skills.