Change and prosper

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change – Darwin

Change can originate from both external and internal sources. External sources include disasters, technological advances, demographic changes, socioeconomic pressures and the market.
Internal sources of change include management response to concerns such as client needs, performance issues, costs and human resources. Change may affect one department or the entire organisation. Nonetheless, all change, whether from internal or external sources, large or small, involves adopting new mind-sets, policies, practices and behaviour.

Accommodating change is made much easier if you have a structured approach that enables individuals and the organisation as a whole to cope with change. There are many well established bodies of knowledge and methodologies that can help us create tailored approaches for organisations, departments and even individuals. You will need models for the big changes and for those that enable a continuous process of improvement (POOGI).

Some important aspects for any organisation to include in the change models that they adopt are:

1: A clear vision for the end “to-be” state. People will resist change if it does not communicate a better future that they can relate to. The vision helps all the people involved to understand where they are heading.
2: Incremental and evolutionary improvement initiatives with good feedback loops so that the small wins can be capitalised on and mistakes can be learned from and thereby corrected early. This will reduce resistance to change and enable sustainable, institutionalized improvements.
3: Effective communication channels with all concerned.
4: Where possible adopt repeatable processes and methodologies to implement the change. This enables people to focus on what needs to be changed and reduces the stress of learning new ways relating to how change is implemented.

The following management concepts can help with implementing and sustaining change while enabling organizational flexibility and adaptability.
Human resource management
Portfolio, programme and project management
Risk management
Benefits management
Constraint Management / Theory of Constraints (TOC)
Continuous improvement methodologies

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