Time allows for inevitable change and is what helps societies to continue to develop and survive. Within your business, you will have seen this with the changes in technology and their consequential effect, with better systems that are thought out and put into place, and in the progression in the way in which humans think. Change, whether on a small or large scale, is not without its obstacles. There are Change Initiatives that can be put into place in order to make whatever transition your business is undergoing as smooth as possible, and to develop positive growth.
What are Change Initiatives?
It is always important to clearly define a term before delving into the effects it has. A Change Initiative is best defined as a series of planned actions that assist the business in implementing a transformation process and can be performed by internal or external people. This should properly begin with planning, then proceed with clear communication, overcoming obstacles and measuring the success and decision-making. The transformation is implemented in the hopes of moving the business towards a different, more efficient state.
Change Initiatives have three common characteristics:
• They are created in order to transform the current functionality of the business to a desired future state;
• They allow for members of the organisation to make informed choices;
• They aim to create unity amongst the members throughout the decision-making process.
The Levels of Change Initiative:
There are seven primary levels on which a Change Initiative can take place. In order to determine the level that a specific initiative occurs at, the problem needs to be diagnosed. An understanding of the problem that the business is experiencing is then generated and a change management strategy is developed accordingly. These seven levels are:
1. Individual level
2. Dyadic level
3. Departmental level
4. Interdepartmental level
5. Organisational level
6. Inter-organisational level
7. Industry level
How to identify what Change Management Initiative is needed:
In business development, the process of identifying the need for Initiatives is coined, ‘The Organisational Diagnosis Process’. This entails implementing a Change Manager who will then identify the gaps between the current, future and potential state of the business. Understanding these gaps will assist in determining what changes are needed to ultimately ensure the success of the business.
This process is recursive and follows four phases:
This involves identifying what the problem is and creating a Change Management Strategy around it. This Strategy/Initiative needs to be frequently evaluated to ensure that it has the desired impact.
The Change Manager must develop relationships with the key members of the business who will be involved in the change from an early stage, so that he/she can make informed decisions about the business.
3. Data Collection
It is important to first establish what type of data is needed. Thereafter, various methods can be used to collect data including interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, etc.
This involves having a meeting with the Change Manager and other leaders of the business, during which the collected data is discussed and interpreted in order to develop solutions to the problem at hand.
It’s important to take a hands-on approach to any Change Management Initiative being implemented and remember that while the Change Manager is responsible for the outcome of the Initiative, it will only become successful if every member of the team gets involved and is committed during the transition period.