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Derek Bishop

Director

Embracing Change Culture

Date added: 23rd Jul 2015
Category: Organisational Culture Change

When organisations embrace the concept of change; when they see agility, collaboration and the creation of solutions as part of everyday life then regardless of the nature of the external threat, the organisation and its employees stand ready to create a workable solution.

When was the last time you stopped and thought about the future direction of your business? Do you have a clearly defined strategy which is driving innovative solutions and exceptional customer experiences; or are you simply making it up as you go along, reacting to customer whims and external forces in the best way you can?

If the latter, you are not alone. The changing business landscape is catching out businesses large and small as the effects of globalised technology and changing customer outlooks come into play. Even those businesses which are renowned for paying close attention to the markets and customer requirements are not immune. For example, in a recent Guardian article Phillip Adcock, author of Shoppology: The Science of Supermarket Shopping, commented that “No one in supermarkets cares what next year looks like – they’re talking about the next six weeks.”

The fact is that it is very easy to glibly comment on the pace of change, the way in which the digital landscape is transforming organisations, or the way in which the millennial generation is looking for new meaning from business; but it can also be very tempting to simply bury your head in the sand and try to maintain business as usual until something happens to force change. It may be something small, a seemingly insignificant shift in the marketplace which has a lasting impact on businesses; or it may be a radical change in technology or in legislation, but whatever it is the comfortable business life which we knew changes forever.

So if business life is changing, if a state of flux is the new norm, how do organisations develop a strategy which stays fit for purpose? The answer is quite simply to move the organisation away from inflexible process led methodologies and towards a culture which embraces agility and flexibility as part of everyday life. In other words, to adopt a culture of innovation.

When change threatens to impact an organisation, there are three options. The first is to ignore the change, carrying on as long as possible whilst trade is haemorrhaged to fresher and more agile organisations. The second is to try and absorb the change into existing processes, creating internal strife and conflict as barriers are raised at every level. This method too will eventually lead to loss of custom as customer service is impacted by unhappy employees and competitors happily move in to pick up the pieces.

The third option is to look to embrace the change as a natural part of an ongoing change culture. When organisations embrace the concept of change; when they see agility, collaboration and the creation of solutions as part of everyday life then regardless of the nature of the external threat, the organisation and its employees stand ready to create a workable solution. Not only that, the continuing drive to create a game changing product or service means that innovative businesses are far more likely to be on the cutting edge of change rather than having to continually play catch up.

When the last time you stopped and thought about the future direction of your business? If you thought that the pace of change means there is no point then think again. You may need to change your strategy, to embed innovative flexibility and collaboration into the culture, but in the long term that very flexibility will create a future-fit business which is ready not only to respond to the market but to lead the market.

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