How to manage the wind of (organisational) change

by Don Lowe

January 10, 2019
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hey, we have all been there! You are faced with yet another change. It is inevitable. These days, businesses need to embrace these changes in order to prosper.

The changes may have originated from an external source such as advances in technology, socioeconomic pressure or the market.

You may have had concerns about client needs, performance issues or costs. These are internal sources of change.

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

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​Charles Darwin

​When the going gets tough or there's a "storm in the tea cup"

It is challenging to get everyone on board when initiating a change. Communication can break down and create misunderstandings. People lose focus and their motivation dwindles. There might even be a seed of resistance forming among the staff because they can’t relate to the final goal. Why is it so hard to accept change?

​When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.

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​Henry Ford

​How to manage change by "adjusting the sails"

​All changes involve adopting new mindsets, practices and behaviour. But our natural reaction is fear. We can't help it. It is just the way the brain is wired.

Accommodating change is made much easier if you have a structured approach. It will enable everyone to cope better with the change.

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach the destination," as Jimmy Dean put it.

​Get a plan in place and "weather the storm"

There are many well established bodies of knowledge and methodologies that can help us create tailored change solutions. You will need models for the big changes and for those that enable a process of ongoing improvement (POOGI). 

Whichever model you choose, include these important aspects:

  • 1
    ​A clear vision for "the end"

It will help you understand where you are heading.

  • 2
    ​Good feedback loops

​Every small win must be capitalised on and mistakes learned from and thereby corrected early.

  • 3
    ​Effective communication channels with all concerned

​Goes without saying!

Give us a call if you need help to plan for change instead of reacting to it. Change is constant and necessary for growth and profitability.