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Why is Change Leadership Essential for Businesses?

Why is Change Leadership Essential for Businesses?

The Importance of Change Leadership in Business Success

Businesses typically focus on the tasks that are involved in change – creating a project plan, communications, training, etc. They are focused on the tasks of getting things done – a ‘if they build it, the people will come’ mentality is typically used. That may have worked well during a time when we could reliably have a reasonable idea of what the future might hold, however, that is not generally the case anymore. 

Although it has been the last couple of decades that the accepted theory that change is constant, there was also the theory that there is a beginning, middle, and end. However nowadays, change is more of a daily norm and has become more cyclical rather than linear. April Rinne states, “We are living in a world of flux, meaning continuous change, and we need to flux (to cause or learn to become fluid) with our mental muscles.” (2021, pg 3 & 4).

A McKinsey report states that in 1958, the average lifespan of an organization was 60 years; now that is 12 years and by 2027, 75% of the organizations listed on the Standard & Poor Index in 2018, will no longer exist. They will be bought out, merged, or go bankrupt. Now that is a startling statistic that clearly illustrates that organizations need to change and adapt or they will die. Furthermore, technology is one of the biggest disruptors of our time and is changing at a faster rate than it has ever done before. The implications of AI and the current lack of ethics on AI are creating a good deal of headaches for business leaders. 

At the same time, the demand and need for technology to evolve at a fast rate is just as great. Then there are the UN sustainability goals that many businesses are trying to adopt across all their operations and supply chains, not to mention the impact international conflicts are having on our organizations and people. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Navigating the Complexities of Change Leadership

Change leadership can be tricky and feel bewildering, particularly when faced with the degree of uncertainty that is indicative of our world. Additionally, leading people to ensure they are confident and supported to take business to the next level can also be and feel daunting. Many leaders believe people do not like change, but I don’t agree. The actual fact is that people don’t like BEING changed. 

Change leadership is about people and this statement of the obvious too often gets lost in the over-complicated methodologies and technology-focused approaches to change. Leaders get seduced by the glitter of the gizmo and forget to pay attention to the ordinary, everyday needs of the people who will actually make the technology/change sing.

Typically, the people side of change is an afterthought and noticed only once things are not working as planned. There needs to be a new mindset to accept and embrace exponential change and to do so with more than an eye on the plausible multi-technologic centric futures and, instead, enable a more human-centric future. Building flexibility, agility, and resilience into change programs by exploring plausible scenarios in line with a clear vision is crucial for the future growth of our businesses and the well-being of employees.

One thing is certain – the levels of uncertainty and complexity are going to continue to increase so we need our people ready and resilient. The factors that impact and determine how the change will affect our people and organizations are quite vast. So to ignore these elements is not only detrimental to our plans for change but quite possibly catastrophic to the success and survival of our business. How the change is perceived, felt, thought about, and experienced determines how the change is viewed.

Using the holistic approach (2021) that includes the ABChange Model® in the context of these different future scenarios, enables leaders to generate a pathway that includes the people and ensures they are taken along this journey of change. Thus making sure a business’ “greatest asset” is paid proper attention to, whether changes are seen as radical or incremental, by marrying the person and the change task together in different future possibilities. This gives leaders the ability to focus on the priorities for the business not just for survival but to generate growth and thrive.


About the Author

Women Thrive Magazine Author - Jennifer L Bryan

Name: Jennifer L Bryan

Professional Title: Vice President of ACMP UK, Fellow CIPD, TEDx Speaker & Published Author

Bio: Jennifer Bryan is a published Author, Speaker and Director of Change and Leadership, who has worked with nearly 40 different organizations across multiple industries.  She is also a Non Executive Board Member of the ACMP (Association of Change Management Professionals) UK Chapter.  She believes in helping people – in whatever capacity she can – by making sure people are thought of first, last and throughout change projects and programmes. She has created a unique leading change framework, the ABChange Model, and uses her commercial insight to help lead people in change. Jennifer is the author of Leading People in Change – A practical guide. 

Website: www.JenniferLBryan.com

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Media platform spotlighting and celebrating entrepreneurial women and their achievements. Creating a platform where every woman can be seen and heard. We are disrupting the media industry by democratising media channels for women. If you have a business or an idea and you would like to rise and thrive, you are in the right place.

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