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The Change Process

What is change in business and why is it considered one of the most challenging aspects of leadership?
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Complex Change Defined

Change is difficult. Change pushes people out of their comfort zones. Yet, change can offer someone to learn a lot, gain experience, and in the end, create positive results. However, the benefits and results depend on how well you take positive steps and resist change’s hurdles. As a leader, in any capacity, it is important to gain the skills needed to not only lead when business is booming but acquire the skills to lead during crisis.

What is Change?

So what is change? Change is a transition from one state (current state) to another (desired state). Changes in a business environment change when existing processes or practices are no longer beneficial or profitable.

Present State -> Transition State -> Desired State = Change

Why Do Organisations Require Change?

All organisations exist within certain environments, which inherently have an impact on their operations. Whether this environment is the physical landscape in which the organisation exists and operates or the sociological environment in which the organisation competes, each organisation’s positioning is vital to its success and growth over time. Without proper market positioning, an organisation can find itself stagnant amongst the competition. This, in turn, can ultimately lead to the demise of an organisation.
Per the adage, “If you’re not innovating, you’re dying”, businesses are constantly attempting to evolve and keep current within their respective landscapes. However, what ultimately determines the impetus for requiring such change? While market influences are generally considered the main determinant for an organisation to change or pivot, there are many other reasons for organisational operations changes.
Reasons for Change = Consumer Preferences – Environmental Factors – Occupational Trends

While an organisation’s main focus may deal with its production (in whichever form that may be), it is important to consider organisation structure that can occur. As seen during the Industrial Revolution, rapidly-implemented labour divisions paired with the then-new specialized workforce demanded the reorganisation of many factories and plants. No longer were workers allowed to switch from one task to the other. Instead, they were regulated to operate within the confines of their rank and post.

Impacts in this change of operations even bled through to classrooms that were (and still are to some extent) designed to mimic an assembly line or office space. By essentially training students to remain as stationary as possible for extended hours, the educational system of the time engrained a modus operandi that would translate directly to the industrialised labour market. As a direct result, many office spaces maintain a layout similar to that of yore factories.

However, businesses have since realised that this may, in fact, not be the most ideal for extracting the creative potential from their employees. Open-space workspaces have started to emerge as these antiquated notions of traditional office layouts have been replaced with occupational environments that are more conducive for collaboration. Some early adopters of open-space office layouts have (ironically) realised that this layout might bring about some unforeseen drawbacks that dent productivity.

© Ducere Global Business School
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Leadership Skills and Change Management in Uncertain Times

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