2020 has ushered in the biggest change to the global workforce since the Industrial Revolution of the early 1900s – the emergence of COVID-19. Companies across the globe are scrambling to respond to this significant shift in doing business, highlighting the necessity for emergency preparation, crisis management and adaptable operating practices. How can organizations set new standards and stay ahead of the unknown curves? The answer: Change Enablement
Preparing for the long-term impacts of COVID-19:
Change Your Mindset About Change: Many organizations are incredibly misguided in their views of change management. Some treat it as a luxury while others treat it as an afterthought. However, the most innovative and resilient organizations understand that change management is a basic component of an organization’s strategic plan. The COVID-19 pandemic, while severe in scope, offers companies a unique opportunity to review and revamp both their people and business operational strategies. Executive leadership teams should take this time to gain clarity around these critical questions:
Can we sustain our business for the rest of 2020 under these new conditions? If yes, then how does this impact business long-term? If not, then what are the top 3 aspects that must be addressed immediately?
Are we structured properly?
Do we have enough support for our most critical operations?
Are we positioned to handle our emerging markets and business lines?
Build Your Change Plan: Right now, it probably feels like your company is building its proverbial boat while it is floating down the river. It’s OK! These are unprecedented times, and often, the best solution to a current problem is to solve for a future reality.
Develop your organization’s change mantra - How do you want to facilitate change in your organization? How can you reposition your mission and values to incorporate change? Define it and live it.
Establish change leadership - Most major business functions (Finance, IT, Operations, HR) have designated leadership. Change should be no different. Sometimes that leadership exists within the organization, but oftentimes it does not. Do not be afraid to look outside of your organization for this talent. At a time where companies may be looking to restructure their workforces, it is critical to have strong change leadership at all levels, starting with the executive team. Having a voice that truly understands how to plan, implement and deliver change will prevent your organization from making premature, short-sighted decisions.
Empower change execution - Change gets stuck because people and organizations don’t know how to move forward. With the change mantra and leadership firmly in place, actionable elements must be defined, documented and delivered. Action plans designed to engage stakeholders and sponsors, establish communication protocols, train and coach employees at all levels, and manage resistance to new normals require business process alignment. They also require the flexibility to evolve with your business and your people. Action creates action. The best laid plans and stellar leadership mean nothing if they do not produce results. In other words, companies have to execute.
Embrace Change as the Constant That It Is: COVID-19 has reminded all of us that today’s truth may be drastically different tomorrow. Organizations have to stay ready so that they don’t find themselves needing to get ready for their next pivotal change.
Unsure of where or how to begin your organization’s change journey? That is where we come in. Visit us at www.peopabilities.com today to learn more about how we guide companies to develop people strategies that empower business strategies.