Why Change Management Expertise Is Crucial to Business Growth

by Terrence carsonJULY 8th, 2019

Change is inevitable. One of the few things you can absolutely rely on in the rough-and-tumble business world is the fact that things will change.

There is almost no limit to the number of things that change. Your technology, your employees, your place in the market, your customers’ expectations — all of these things are going to be different at some point in the future.

Change management is the process by which organizations identify, prepare for, and respond to the need for change. Successful change management requires careful planning and experience.

Take Control of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is one of the most fundamental changes that a business can go through. It occupies the intersection of technological and business innovation, and can generate significant long-term value if implemented correctly.

On the other hand, organizations that fail to manage the transition to an all-digital business model suffer. Adopting new technologies without a strategy is not digital transformation, and it doesn’t reflect any insight into what the organization really needs.

There is no way to make your organization’s digital strategy a success without taking a close look at how you effectuate change. You need to examine the motivations behind change and its effects on the relationships between your employees, partners, and customers.

Hiring a qualified change management expert results in significantly improved outcomes. Organizations that undergo digital transformation with the leadership of a qualified change management expert are best-equipped to maximize positive outcomes. They do this by structuring change effectively.

Take Control of Digital Transformation

When it comes to digital transformation, the truth is that the organization isn’t really changing — only its people are. Digital transformation is the process of equipping people with the best tools for the jobs they perform.

The actions you take as an executive or IT professional during digital transformation reflect the values of your organization by the way they impact people. How your new set of business tools impacts customers is also seen in their interactions with other human beings. This is evident on three levels:

1. Individual Change Management

This is the simplest level to understand, yet it’s often the one that executives overlook when implementing digital transformation initiatives. 

When an organization has an unstructured approach to individual change management, employees don’t know who to turn to for support. Training is inconsistent, and managers fail to provide strong leadership that leads to stable outcomes.

Professional change management experts draw on psychology and neuroscience to develop actionable frameworks for change on the individual level. This framework covers everything from executive communication to training times and ongoing feedback.

2. Organizational Change Management

While change happens on an individual level, management teams still need to manage change on an organizational basis. The next level of change management assesses the organization’s capabilities and responsiveness to change, structuring the ways in which new processes will impact everyone who participates in them.

The goal of organizational change management is to find the most efficient way to structure change within an organization. This might mean gradually implementing new processes, starting with a specific department and moving onward from there. It might also mean spending months preparing for a large-scale change that occurs abruptly, even over the course of a single day.

In both cases, only a highly qualified change management consultant has the experience and insight to identify which strategy is best suited to produce positive outcomes.

3. Enterprise Change Management

The final level of change management addresses the way changes embed themselves in an organization’s structures, processes, and leadership competencies. 

For example, deploying a new enterprise resource management system as part of a digital transformation initiative may require a new set of skills at the executive level. This might mean hiring a chief technology officer (CTO) with experience using the system in question, or it could mean outsourcing platform development to a third-party vendor.

The decision to make these kinds of strategic changes must be approached with the same structured framework as the rest of your digital transformation. Your change management consultant is the person best-suited to identify how to approach your organization’s high-level strategy in a way that maximizes productivity while reducing costs and uncertainty.

Hire a Change Management Consultant for Digital Transformation

Most IT professionals planning for digital transformation agree they need to appoint a dedicated change management professional to oversee the process. However, many opt to assign an existing employee to fulfill this responsibility.

Outside help is far more valuable. A qualified consultant can provide unique insight informed by years of experience working with a variety of organizations on the exact task at hand.