Cul­ture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the orga­ni­za­tion is trans­formed – the cul­ture reflects the real­i­ties of peo­ple work­ing togeth­er every day – Frances Hesselbein

The world around us is always chang­ing. Con­stant tech­no­log­i­cal advance­ments and shifts in soci­ety means change man­age­ment is a neces­si­ty for any organ­i­sa­tion. There are also many cir­cum­stances that require man­age­ment of change, such as new com­pe­ti­tion or demo­graph­ic trends.

For some peo­ple change can be daunt­ing, which is why it’s impor­tant to ensure you equip employ­ees with the right men­tal­i­ty and tools to take change in their stride and help to dri­ve it.

3 key cultural aspects for effective change management

1. Strong leadership

Intro­duc­ing new pro­ce­dures can be tricky. Strong lead­ers can nav­i­gate staff through the dif­fi­cult tran­si­tion peri­ods of organ­i­sa­tion­al change and demon­strate that although the changes might be dif­fi­cult at first, in the long run, it will ben­e­fit the whole organisation.

2. Shared company values

Where mem­bers of an organ­i­sa­tion hold the same busi­ness val­ues, staff are more able to fol­low these fun­da­men­tal beliefs and best work­ing prac­tice, even in times of uncer­tain­ty. The ideals of a com­pa­ny deter­mine the inter­ac­tions between staff, cus­tomers and all stake­hold­ers. Shar­ing the same val­ues helps to cre­ate a pos­i­tive work­ing envi­ron­ment as every­one is striv­ing towards the same goals.

3. Commitment to learning

Man­ag­ing change will often result in new pro­ce­dures or tech­nol­o­gy being intro­duced to the com­pa­ny. This can some­times be daunt­ing for employ­ees who are used to the tra­di­tion­al ways of work­ing. Organ­i­sa­tions that are ded­i­cat­ed to the pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment of their staff tend to have employ­ees who are open to new prac­tices and are less like­ly to resist change. 

A strong com­pa­ny cul­ture will ease the tran­si­tion of organ­i­sa­tion­al change but this in itself is not enough: 

“In the midst of change, one old truth holds true: an organ­i­sa­tion can­not be more effec­tive than its peo­ple. It’s more impor­tant than ever that teams are equipped with the right knowl­edge and exper­tise to adapt to chal­lenges they face and dri­ve inno­va­tion, wher­ev­er they are.”(Andy Newell-Smith)


Steps required for effective change management

Communication with staff

Senior lead­er­ship and man­age­ment need to be a calm­ing influ­ence and effec­tive­ly edu­cate staff about new changes to help employ­ees man­age them . Change often results in dif­fer­ences in job roles which can be unset­tling for the peo­ple affect­ed. In order to com­bat this one of the best ways to imple­ment change is through face to face com­mu­ni­ca­tion, allow­ing employ­ees to ask ques­tions and feel con­nect­ed to the change process.

Assessing company culture

Assess­ing com­pa­ny cul­ture before change starts can reveal how ready an organ­i­sa­tion is for change and helps to iden­ti­fy areas where prob­lems may occur. Iden­ti­fy­ing these fac­tors and under­stand­ing atti­tudes, behav­iours and val­ues will allow a foun­da­tion for effec­tive change to be developed.

Lead by example

Employ­ees can strug­gle to facil­i­tate change even if they are empow­ered with­in a learn­ing organ­i­sa­tion. Being able to see chang­ing pro­ce­dures suc­cess­ful­ly work­ing with­in senior man­age­ment is encour­ag­ing for staff but also assures them that change is necessary. 

Change man­age­ment is a com­plex process, to fur­ther under­stand how to exe­cute change smooth­ly down­load your free copy of the whitepa­per, Vision for Learn­ing Organ­i­sa­tions.

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Why is cul­ture vital for suc­cess­ful change management?
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