The Latest Change Management Trends
All organizations go through change, now more than ever, and change is especially present in a growing business. The field of change management continues to evolve rapidly. Therefore it is essential for business leaders to keep up with the latest change management trends.
Why is change management important in your organization?
Change management is vital in each organization, because it drives the successful adoption and usage of change within the business. It allows employees to understand and commit to the shift and work effectively during it. Without effective organizational change management, company transitions can be rocky and expensive in terms of both time and resources.
Read on for an overview of the latest change management trends, according to Christopher Smith, lead author & editor of the WalkMe Change Blog.
The latest change management trends
Business leaders should keep an eye out for these trends in the near future:
1.Change management is becoming data-driven
Data is quickly becoming a vital part of modern business operations, change management included. In the coming years, we’ll see more change managers using data to predict company performance, invest in projects, and make decisions based on the data they collect.
Previously, change management was “people-focused,” meaning that managers would focus on the attitudes, behaviors, and skills of employees. And while areas such as training and communication are still crucial parts of change management, change managers are increasingly turning their focus towards data and technology.
With data, change managers can:
- Gain insight into employees’ mindsets and behaviors
- Predict the path and profitability of certain projects
- Better measure the outcomes and performance of change projects
Data is changing the way we approach change management.
2.The desire to manage employee attitudes
During 2020, the rapid transition to work-from-home shook the world of work.
While many employees responded favorably, others suffered from feelings of isolation and disconnect.
In the years ahead, change will continue to affect the workplace, which will, in turn, continue to affect employees.
However, managers and change managers will have to invest in more techniques to manage employee attitudes. Because not doing so, after all, can lead to a decline in company culture and overall performance.
3.Increased change management maturity across industries
Change management maturity refers to the level of sophistication of your change management program and abilities.
Prosci’s model, for instance, has five stages. At the lowest stage, there is little to no change management, while at the highest level, change management has become standardized across the business.
In order to upgrade your change management maturity, it is important to invest in a sophisticated, structured approach that is grounded in the most well-known and important theories of change management.
4.Remote change management
Change management is hard enough when everyone is in the same room. Likewise, when you’re trying to manage a team that’s spread all over town, the country, or the world, it becomes even more challenging.
During 2020, when work-from-home became the new normal, remote team management took the spotlight. Business leaders realized that remote workers need to be managed differently.
At the same time, Change Managers realized that the ability to manage remote teams can mean the difference between a successful organizational change and a failed one.
Digital workplaces are the new normal. A digital-first workplace embeds the latest technology into the work environment. Importantly, digital workplace designs connect the workplace itself to the organization’s products and services.
Among other things, the transition to the digital workplace means:
- Leading digital transformation initiatives that leverage technology-driven innovation
- Creating a culture that is digital-first
- Investing in digital adoption platforms (DAPs) and structured digital adoption strategies
Companies that are slow to adapt to changes in technology and culture will be excluded from the digital economy. Therefore, business leaders need to invest heavily in these new tools.
6.Modernized organizational cultures
According to Edgar Schein’s definition, organizational culture has three levels:
- Artifacts and behaviors, which include visible signals such as dress code and social conduct
- Values, or the culture’s adopted principles and philosophies
- Shared assumptions, which are deeply embedded beliefs, often taken for granted
While there is no such thing as a perfect organizational culture, business leaders recognize that organizational culture plays a critical role in organizational change efforts.
In order to drive change effectively, and to stay competitive, business leaders should be a living example of cultural traits such as openness to change, a pro-learning mindset, and pro-digital attitudes.
7.Agility and continuous improvement
Business as we know it, is constantly changing. Therefore organizations must be flexible and adaptable to keep up with changing circumstances.
For this reason, many organizations are adopting agile and lean business models. (Read more about the Basics of Lean Methodology here.)
These approaches emphasize areas such as:
- Reducing wasteful business processes
- Implementing user-centered design principles
- Constant iteration and improvement
- Responsiveness over static processes
In summary, Lean is an approach to process design focused on eliminating time wasted on activities that don’t add value for customers.
Though our natural impulse is to stay still and stay safe, that’s actually a dangerous approach when the economic environment is continually changing. Instead, business leaders and the workforce as a whole must be willing to change in order to succeed.
The latest change management trends – in summary
In order to lead in the future of work, business leaders should ensure that the latest change management trends are implemented in their organizations.
Not sure how to do this, or apprehensive of the change in leadership style required in the future of work? Fear no more! Connect with CoLAB. It is our passion to help business leaders (like you!) to grow their companies in a #bestpractical way.
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