Why Managing Change with Strategic Management is Important?

From ERP implementations, the adoption of Project Management, Process Improvement Initiatives, changing Organizational Structure, major strategic priorities, to the Retirement of the Baby Boom Generation workforce, there is no shortage of the “challenge of change”.

Change Management in Strategic Management is a hot topic in organizations, and people are debating about what are the key actions for change management.

Successful implementation of change management is important. The consequences of poorly managed change are significant in terms of cost to the organization. Lost productivity, frustrated customers who may take their business elsewhere, lost time, and low morale is just a few of the impacts of poor implementation of change.

Many organizations are taking Change Management in Strategic Management very seriously. We see this, especially where major change initiatives such as ERP’s are being implemented.

Clearly, with significant investments required and major process changes included, leaders recognize the need for successful implementation of strategic change management.

Where we find many change initiatives fall short is in the consideration for the transition challenges that people go through when called on to change processes or behaviors, or acquire the essential new skills.

As it has often been saying “it’s not the change that people resist, it is the fear of failure in the new way”. Paying attention to people is important for the successful implementation of change in a strategic way.

Our own experience in supporting change and transition management initiatives in organizations has led us to four key actions that facilitate successful implementation. They are described below.

What Are the Four Key Actions in Managing Change with Strategic Management?

1. Leadership Leading the Change in a Strategic Way:

Leading practices in change and transition management emphasize the key role leaders have in implementing successful change management strategies.

Leaders are instrumental in clarifying the vision for change. Clear and consistent communication regarding the vision must exist at all levels of the organization in strategic management. Senior leaders need to be aligned around the strategic impact and benefits of the change and “sing off the same song sheet”.

Leaders need to stay connected with their people. Leaders must also ensure that the staff has sufficient time and resources to input into and implement the change. Strategic Management Decisions concerning managing the changes in resource allocation will send the right messages to staff regarding the level of leadership commitment. Modeling of required behaviors will also indicate strong levels of leadership support for the change.

2. Clear-Cut Strategic Communication throughout the Entire Change Management Process:

Communication has been identified as a key to facilitate the strategic change management process. Communication needs to be clear-cut, strategic and specific in terms of the audience.

Most organizations have a variety of vehicles available to provide and support communication. The selection of the most appropriate vehicle for the message is critical.

A comprehensive strategic communications plan can act as a guide in identifying and facilitating opportunities to leverage existing communication vehicles and utilize new ones that will support and reinforce the key messages of the change management process.

Successful strategic change management efforts should include face-to-face communication from leaders, and in particular, the direct supervisor; and also should describe what are the benefits of changing the recent processes from the employee’s perspective.

3. High Levels of Stakeholder Involvement and Engagement in Strategic Management for Change Process:

Commitment to implementing change is significantly increased when the impacted stakeholders are involved in the process of defining how the strategic implementation will occur.

Also, knowledge at the frontline level can provide valuable input into the strategic change process.

It is important to identify who the key stakeholders are and how they should be involved, while at the same time, how to strategically manage the expectations those groups have from the change process.

4. Supporting and Enabling Employees in the Process of Change Management:

This area deals with the people processes required to support and enable employees to be successful with the strategic change management process.

This includes such areas as effective performance management including compensation, reward and recognition, skill development, and staying connected with your people.

What are the Key Questions that should come up for consideration during the implementation process of the 4 Key Actions of Managing Change with Strategic Management?

§ Too what extent are we as a leadership team clear and in alignment around what is changing for people, the benefits of the change, what the impact is, how people are impacted?

§ What two-way communications mechanisms do we have in place that allows our people to say, ” I get it and I understand it”, and affords them the opportunity for input?

§ How well are we engaging our people in determining how the change will be implemented? How well are we managing expectations around the implementation of the change?

§ What support mechanisms are in place that will allow people to both gains the new skills required, and stay connected through the change implementation?

I hope you find this article on Four Key Actions in Managing Change with Strategic Management helpful. This may help you in framing the guidelines and processes for managing change in your organization in an effective, fruitful, and strategic way that drives maximum benefits for all the stakeholders.