If you’ve ever had the opportunity to work at a summer camp you’ll know it’s one of the best “jobs” you’ll ever have. I use the word job in inverted commas intentionally because more often than not it doesn’t feel like work at all. There are deep and meaningful conversations with people who start to feel more like your family than your colleagues. There is the cold embrace of a dip in the lake after a late afternoon game of capture the flag that always gets a little too intense. There’s the jaw-ache you get after laughing too hard for too long at some silly in-joke.
Change has fast become the one constant in businesses today, but can there be a point when too much change is no longer good for business?
If the changes aren’t fully considered, fully implemented and the people are not engaged with the process, then yes.
In 2013 a large London based organisation commenced a two-year transformation programme looking to change everything from their systems, processes, policies, procedures, structures, IT infrastructure and nationwide office locations.
We are far better at planning for the short-term than we are for the long-term.
Think about when you get in the car. If you don’t know where you are going, you tap in the details to a sat-nav system to tell you the route. You might have an advanced system that updates itself to find quicker routes if there is traffic.
You probably know what you’re doing this weekend and maybe even the weekend after. You might even have planned your summer holiday.
Over the last few months' we’ve seen the likes of retailers such as NEXT and Tesco scale back their growing empires. Where they had started to sell everything to everyone online and in stores, the decline in the retail sector has seen a significant change. Store closures, redundancies and a change in the goods being sold seem to be just the start of the changes being implemented in retail.
Companies who have always been slightly more niche and specialist such as Aspinal, instead of a decline in sales and store closures, are on an incredible journey of growth.
People, Process and Technology are three pillars of change management. In this blog, I am going to look at the process side of change management. Although Process has a considerable overlap with other two aspects, there is still room to look at process in isolation. Borrowing from the simple yet effective model of Lewin, Process can be unfreezed, analysed and repackaged as shown in the below diagram.
Figure 1: Transforming Cube to Cone
“…in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
The famous quote by Benjamin Franklin has never been truer than today.
As political certainties are turned upside down and surprises come at us from all angles, organisations could add another rare certainty: CHANGE. And change is, err – changing.
Of course, business has always known that change is inevitable. But in the past, most of it happened over time.
As a follow-up from my last article - where I shared thoughts on one of the key differentiators for the businesses of tomorrow being the ability for people to make data-driven decisions within an environment of emerging, fast-paced transformation - this month I dig a little deeper into how sensing your market and making sense of your data are crucial in remaining a competitive and viable business, enabling you to continuously change faster than the competition.
I can't recall who said it, or where I heard it, but it has resonated with me for a while now, providing the inspiration for the first article in this series - "uncertainty is the only certainty in business". Never has this been more relevant than in today's world of rapid change, where organisations are continuously challenged to disrupt or be disrupted.