Understanding the Vitality of Change Management in Business Growth

A hand stacks wooden blocks reading 'Embrace change to stay competitive.'

From technological advancements and market shifts to internal re-brandings and policy revisions, businesses are often faced with change. Whether this propels a company forward or leaves it struggling to keep up is often largely down to how that change is managed. For those looking to chart a course of sustainable and consistent growth, the strategic practice of change management is imperative.

Navigating change effectively isn’t about merely adapting to the shifts that happen. Understanding the value of change management can help you harness new opportunities in a transitional period and maintain a clear organisational purpose. How do businesses harness the potential of change for growth instead of letting it be a source of discord?

Adaptation to Market Dynamics

When the market fluctuates, businesses are faced with two options: adapt and thrive or resist and wane. Companies at the epicentre of a competitive and highly contested marketplace must recognise the importance of agility. Change management equips businesses with the frameworks and philosophies to respond quickly to shifts in trends, consumer preferences, and regulatory requirements.

How can good change management harness market dynamics?

Learning from change needs to be baked into your organisation’s culture. With systems that detect fluctuations early, processes that integrate new findings, and an atmosphere that encourages innovation and thinking outside of the box, businesses can transform challenges into opportunities. In short, agility is rewarded, and having a successful approach to change management is an excellent way to achieve that.

Enhanced Employee Engagement

Employees are the gears that turn the engine of any enterprise. Engaged employees are loyal, productive, and innovative. Change must be managed with transparency and inclusivity to ignite the passion within teams and encourage them to contribute actively to the company’s vision.

A well-crafted change management plan ensures employees are engaged in the process.

From brainstorming sessions that welcome new ideas to training programs that equip teams with the skills to face a new day, change becomes an exciting prospect offering personal and professional growth. Engaged employees under such a program can not only perform better but also cope with weather changes with resilience, reducing downtimes between planning and implementation.

A team meets around a table to discuss the benefits of change management

Optimised Operational Efficiency

Streamlining and optimising operations is a constant ‘back-burner’ endeavour for almost every business. Getting to grips with how to properly handle change management can enhance this process in a few crucial ways:

  1. Highlighting redundancies: As your business experiences change, erstwhile integral processes or practices may present themselves as unimportant.
  2. Improving resource allocation: Often, fluctuations in your company can prompt a rethink of capital allocation. Reexamining this as a matter of necessity can empower you to make the process more efficient — something that could previously have been missed.
  3. Injecting processes with innovation: Expected or unexpected shifts in your business can be a great time to take stock. Are you prioritising innovation as much as you could be? Are certain practices falling victim to the ‘we’ve always done it that way’ mantra? Take this opportunity to assess your goals and rethink your process with progress in mind.

For those looking at the bottom line, change management can be the key to unlocking new levels of profitability. By systematically implementing changes and measuring their effects, businesses can cut costs, reduce bottlenecks, and ensure that each department works in tandem with others towards a unified operational goal.

Innovation and Creativity

Innovation is the lifeblood of any business aiming for growth and success. Change management, when done properly, fosters a culture that celebrates creativity and challenges norms. This can lead to the birth of new products, services, and business models.

Let’s take streaming giant Netflix as an example.

Netflix was founded with innovation in mind. In 1997, entrepreneurs Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings decided to capitalise on a growing appetite for home cinema by embracing the then-new technology of DVDs. Smaller, lighter, and more portable than video tapes, DVDs proved an effective option for mail rental.

How did they disrupt the industry?

By 2007, more and more people were using smartphones, laptops, and computers as their primary entertainment devices. For a less agile DVD rental company, this could have spelt disaster.

However, Netflix embraced the change. They launched their online streaming service, which totally revolutionised the concept of watching movies and TV shows. By doing so, Netflix was able to make its service cheaper, more efficient, and more convenient for consumers.

A screenshot of Netflix's original homepage displaying their effective change management

Above: Netflix’s original 2007 homepage. Source: Ask Gib

What did this mean for Netflix?

In short, it meant that they survived and thrived and are now the most subscribed video streaming service with over 260 million subscribers worldwide. When you compare this to one of their early competitors in the video and DVD rental market, Blockbuster Video, the difference is stark.

Both Netflix and Blockbuster capitalised on the appetite for video and DVD rental in the 1990s. However, where Netflix embraced the changing landscape by taking the essential steps of change management, Blockbuster failed to respond quickly and rapidly found itself in an untenable position.

Are You Looking to Partner with an Expert in Change Management?

With a proven track record of guiding companies through essential transformations, I bring a wealth of experience and a toolbox of effective techniques to the table. Together, we can engage your team, align your leadership, and create a culture of continuous improvement that’s ready for whatever comes next for your business.

Read more about the top 10 essentials of change management here, or feel free to get in touch with me today for more information.

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Further Reading