Change in organizations is an ever increasing phenomena. New technologies, new products, new competitors, new regulations, new people with new values and experiences. Every day, organizations try to stay one step ahead of their competitors by changing to meet the needs of their customers either cheaper or faster or both.
Not too long ago, many companies started recognizing that change within organizations needed to be proactively managed. Those that were forward- thinking started working explicitly to help the people in their organizations get ready, willing, and able to work in new ways that were required for future success.
Those that hoped people would just “get with the program” or “do what I said because I said so” have lived (and died) with the results of low productivity, engagement, and performance relative to their more enlightened competitors.
For the organizations that have worked hard to manage the people aspects of change explicitly, the rewards have been forthcoming. But change is speeding up. As soon as one change is “complete”, it seems another is starting up. Just paying attention to managing the people aspects of organizational change will not be good enough as time goes by. The organizations that thrive in the long run need to develop an organizational change competency. Change needs to become part of an organization’s culture and DNA.
Building a change management competency is going to be a clear competitive advantage for organizations of the future. Organizations that are really good at helping their people move from thinking and acting in existing ways to thinking and acting in new ways that are required for the organization’s success are the ones that are going to beat their competition every time.