Organizational change is, or should be, just one of the processes within the strategy’s frame and company vision. Why then companies have to “struggle” when introducing changes? Why do they need to change? Ever changing environment, markets, products are just pushing the limits of a current stability of the companies and provoke never ending chain of changes.
In his blog Bernard Marr says “a good mission statement articulates the purpose of the company, basically why it exists, what it does and for whom. It should serve as an ongoing guide that spells out what the company is all about. The mission should focus on the here and now.” And where do we see a necessity for a change that a company should follow? In “a vision statement where the goals and aspirations for the future are outlined. It creates a mental picture of a specific medium-term target and should serve as a source of inspiration.”
But are these definitions enough to smoothly drive a change? Company’s organizational culture, as described in the previous blog: “Organizational culture and martial arts,” is the sum of values and rituals defined by rules. It is also a part of a “bigger picture” that surrounds an organization and each of us, as I explained in my TedxTalk. And these substances present difficulties or even block a change. Employees of a company, as others, are perceiving stability as security therefore opposing changes. Consequently, a permanent conflict prevents a peaceful process of change.
How do some companies escape this trap of incorporated conflict? By way of leadership. Not management manners. Change implementation, mostly practiced by the management, cannot be accepted if it is the result of the top-down demand. However, it can be done as a two way processes within the strategy’s frame and its vision that embraces all involved stakeholders. As it is a complex process there is often some unpredictability in it. Thus prior to completion of a change an outstanding leadership team will openly support change, would take a full responsibility for what it brings, describe plans, campaign the need for a change through the whole company and introduce the team that will make assist in implementing it. During the process of change the listening is crucial for a successful implementation. The implementing team has to listen to what, why and how. Also to the “problems / solutions” coming from bottom. They have to “digest” them, test, discuss and if proved useful, they should propose to accept change in change. It is a feedback loop that controls and improves the process of change. It is as natural as everything in the nature where change is the only stable feature.
By constantly introducing changes a leader stimulates creation of supplementary value in the workplace. An outstanding leader uses only a minor part of his working day actually creating this value. Most of his time he has to dedicate to the tasks as any other worker. That is why this small important portion of the time, when he creates supplementary value, he has to use well and not spend it by discussing the conflicts that prevent change!