Why change in a business environment is important17 Oct 2019
Change is inevitable in business. Especially in today’s world of ever-evolving technology. Being open to new ways of working is important to keep up with competitors and provide the best service to your customers.
It’s not just the business world either. Society is always changing. People have different expectations of products and services. In my opinion, businesses must keep up with these expectations if they’re to succeed and grow.
Keeping up with technological change
We only have to look back over the last decade to see how much technology changes the way we work in a short space of time. How many businesses can get away without having an app, a customer portal or cloud-based network? Both clients and colleagues expect these features and more. With the developments we’ve seen recently, technological change is essential for both operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction.
By having a customer portal, you save your colleagues time. Clients can manage their own account admin, allowing your employees to focus on more valuable tasks. A cloud-based network means your colleagues can continue working when they’re overseas or away from their desk. By not offering these types of technological facilities, you lose time and money in terms of staffing.
While installing and working with new technologies can be time consuming at first, the savings you make outweigh the effort. In fact, I recently described change as one of the inevitable risks of business. You have to do it, but you may encounter hurdles along the way.
Finding new ways of working
Things don’t have to go wrong for you to benefit from new ways of working. Sometimes all it takes is a new manager or leader to approach something differently. A new way of presenting a problem can generate a number of different solutions and really benefit your business. Even facilitating different types of discussions around problem-solving could also help you find new solutions. By asking everyone in the team to contribute instead of a select few, you might find the right people bounce off each other and share knowledge, for example.
Of course, when things do go wrong, you have another great opportunity to embrace change. Use problems to identify what you should have changed earlier, and avoid the same mistakes in future. See it as a lesson in not getting too comfortable. Become an organisation that asks questions. Challenge why you do things in certain ways so that you can identify areas for change before they cause problems.
As with providing the technology your stakeholders expect, embracing change allows you to stay relevant across the board. Your customers expect to do business with you in a certain way and you must keep up. Hopefully you’ve moved away from printed correspondence to online methods of communication.This logic must apply in everything you do. Make your help teams available outside of office hours to accommodate customers who can’t call during the working day. Make sure you company apps are available for Apple and android. Employ new working methods such as the Agile methodology which divides work into short sprints that teams complete together. Teach your employees to be emotionally intelligent to create a workplace in which they can be innovative and creative.
All of these approaches to business are the standard now. If you don’t keep changing, you’ll seem outdated. You’ll struggle to attract new customers and high-calibre employees.
Managing and approaching change
Even when businesses recognise the need for change, it isn’t always easy to lead it. Managers must be confident at identifying areas for change, leading transformation and encouraging the behaviours they need. Change isn’t always smooth-sailing, and those leading it need resilience, courage and self-belief. That’s why we’ve designed our change management course. Available in Sydney, Melbourne and other major Australian cities, we help leaders enable new ways of working and flexible approaches.