– Thoughts on Strategy and Management

Change is everywhere

No, I don’t want to write a post about the change which is related to the presidency of Mr. Obama. I guess that there are articles enough available in the media which discuss this issue. In the case that you would like to employ the “we can change” in order to improve your organization this post could offer some interesting content to you.

Change is easy? Well, the basic answer is yes, if…. According to various research results change is not an easy business, hence you have to be sure of the following three issues before implementing change.

  1. Change is really necessary. You and/or your organization should identify the strategic story that is establishing the need for change, e.g. the need to protect the competitive advantage. But you have to keep in mind that there can be situations where “doing nothing” can be an approach to protect (or to maintain) the competitive advantage (e.g. an traditional restaurant which is appreciated by its customers because it has remained unchanged for long periods of time and the cook did not change his or her famous recipe).
  2. The need for change is understood. Your organization at all including yourself (!) should understand the drivers that create the need for change. It should also be clear what the negative effects (without change) and the hot issues that will damage your competitive advantage. Furthermore you should be able to make a distinction between the real problem and its symptoms.
  3. The right solution has been developed. There are many advocates that will promote the right the solution from their own point of view – but in most cases not all are able to see full facts and attributes of the case. Your organization has to design the solution which is the correct answer to the problem that has been identified before. I have to mention that correct answer does not mean the “perfect” solution. In many cases “85 percent”- solutions with the right timing have been proofed their ability to fix the problem. The correct answer includes the right solution in technical terms + the right organizational solution. The latter one requires that your solution addresses cultural issues within your organization, too.

You can summarize the last issue a little bit: You should manage every change project as an organizational change project. In many cases technical issues represent only the facilitator of change, but cultural / organizational change is the main driver to overcome possible resistances to change.

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