Creating a plan for your business is more than just a means to secure funding and show to any potential investor that you have a business that could stand the test of time in a sustainable profitable manner. Your business plan is a road map for your business, complete with choices to make as your business develops and progresses.
Businesses that are likely to survive and indeed thrive are those that show an agile approach to adapting when they need to. Whether your business is faced with unexpected circumstances, new opportunities, organisational growth or a need to shrink when budgets are constrained, whatever the reason, there is a very strong likelihood that planned or unplanned your business will need to make changes regularly.
Change management experts are increasingly finding that their roles are not just to push through change projects, but they must proactively seek to change the way that the organisation and workforce enable change to happen. They are responsible for creating a culture where change is ingrained in the business model. Building an accepting environment is ever evolving. Why we need to rethink organisational change management mentions that 70% of projects fall by the wayside through resistance, a lack of understanding and communications. This failure rate shows the need to review the way business as a whole see the change process.
Changing the way your organisation and those within it view change will help its chance of success. A business plan that understands and is versatile to be able to cope with changes, enabling the workforce to handle varying degrees of change, from complex to more simple changes without causing worrying shockwaves that a change can cause should be the key aim of any change manager. Creating an atmosphere amongst the organisation that not only accepts change but also is welcoming of it can avoid many of the issues faced through a wall of resistance. The more smoothly the process, the less chance of budget, timeframe and staff casualties on the way.
A change management plan that has a basis defined alongside the overall plan for the business creates an environment that organisational change is not a one off top down process. The process for change can cope equally well for small or large, planned or emergent change, with processes, communications and indeed support networks already in place and already used and accepted by the workforce.
If your business plan covers strategy for change, your role, as a change manager is to articulate the reasons why the change is critical, what the future will look and feel like. The more the company creates an environment where change is part of the way of life, the less likely resistance, failure or additional hurdles on the way.
Your business plan creates a structure for your business, and your change management plan should ensure that the business plan when there is a need for change is communicated effectively, helping to maintain employee focus and understanding. A business that plans for planned change in a way that creates opportunities for employees to ask questions become part of the process and to see how the changes will most certainly be of benefit to those affected and see a higher chance of success.
Having defined recognisable processes ingrained as the business model and ethos of a company will help when the need for urgent or emergent change arises, as the foundations are already there.
Dealing with change
Dealing with change is a potentially major drain on time, money and resources, which can upset a business budget especially for a major change or a run of smaller unforeseen changes. The more automated the process can become; leaving the change manager time to focus on supporting people through change must be of benefit. The ability to automate many of the processes will allow you to act and direct changes more efficiently. Bypassing hierarchy that can slow the process down and get to the heart of the decision makers or reach out and foster the feeling of involvement throughout the relevant parties will see benefits. Managing change so that those involved can see real progress towards the end goal, access answers more readily and be more easily able to see tangible benefits through real time updates all helps to keep up momentum and drive participation and chances of success.
Managing change digitally is possible through a variety of platforms and such an approach to change management should be viewed as part of your business plan by the change management consultants within your organisation.
Planning for change is the best way to make successful changes within your business, and doing so with a structure in place, understanding your business plan, will not cater for all of the changes you will make, but will provide an atmosphere that understands change is necessary. An agile forward thinking business that reacts well to both planned and emergent change, where not every change is a fight against the resistance will stand a far greater chance of getting any change through effectively no matter how big. No one is saying make change for the sake of change, but reviewing your business and not being afraid to ask, expect or execute changes when a need is identified will create a stronger business. When you involve your teams in a way that they feel able to express opinions, suggest change or go with the flow because you have explained why it is necessary and can clearly see the benefits, the rewards and have a feeling of accomplishment for the majority of changes that really do benefit them. When it comes to a difficult change, whilst there may be casualties along the way, the overall process will be less traumatic if the process and structure is in place to make it happen.
Change managers will be spending less time doing automated repetitive tasks and be able to spend greater time identifying potential stakeholder resistance, planning to deal with such and seek to head of the likelihood of failure through resistance or ignorance.