Aut­hor: Susan­ne Sei­bel, Assi­stant Con­sul­tant

22nd of March 2019

Organizational change – why is it necessary?

“One must always chan­ge, renew, reju­ve­na­te in order not to beco­me stubborn.” ― Johan Wolf­gang von Goe­the

Orga­niz­a­tio­nal pro­ce­du­res, pro­ces­ses or even struc­tures chan­ge over time. Dif­fe­rent rea­sons can for­ce com­pa­nies to chan­ge them­sel­ves and their orga­niz­a­ti­on or to adapt to exter­nal envi­ron­ments. Examp­les of the dif­fe­rent for­ces that can chan­ge a com­pa­ny can be new tech­no­lo­gies, eco­no­mic deve­lo­p­ments or legis­la­ti­on. Espe­cial­ly in times of glo­ba­liz­a­ti­on and digi­ta­liz­a­ti­on, com­pa­nies must react fle­xi­b­ly and dyna­mi­cal­ly to the­se chan­ging chal­len­ges. A moder­niz­a­ti­on of obso­le­te struc­tures and pro­ces­ses as well as the intro­duc­tion of new and inno­va­ti­ve pro­ces­ses are necessa­ry to remain com­pe­ti­ti­ve or to stand out from the com­pe­ti­ti­on. If com­pa­nies reject new and modern tools, they are at a dis­ad­van­ta­ge com­pa­red to tho­se who are open to new ide­as. Howe­ver, if chan­ge is used as an oppor­tu­ni­ty for deve­lo­p­ment and pro­gress, com­pa­nies and their orga­niz­a­ti­ons can remain com­pe­ti­ti­ve. Pro­ces­ses that requi­re cul­tu­ral chan­ge in a com­pa­ny or orga­niz­a­ti­on are cal­led “chan­ge pro­ces­ses”. In order for this chan­ge to be suc­cess­ful­ly imple­men­ted throughout the ent­i­re orga­niz­a­ti­on and for the chal­len­ges of new or rest­ruc­tu­ring to be mas­te­red, “chan­ge manage­ment” is requi­red. On behalf of top manage­ment, chan­ges are plan­ned, usual­ly in the cour­se of stra­te­gic rea­lign­ments.

Change process: Only with the help of all employees

SOICON knows from expe­ri­ence that employees are usual­ly cri­ti­cal of chan­ge. The­re­fo­re, it is important that ever­yo­ne is invol­ved in the chan­ge pro­cess. Alt­hough chan­ges are initia­ted by top manage­ment, they will only be suc­cess­ful if they are (co-)supported by the employees. It is the­re­fo­re of gre­at impor­t­ance to estab­lish a high degree of trans­pa­ren­cy about the chan­ge pro­cess at all levels wit­hin the com­pa­ny. We at SOICON invol­ve the employees in the chan­ge pro­cess right from the start in order to quick­ly resol­ve fears and resis­tance and demons­tra­te the neces­si­ty of the chan­ge. Simi­lar­ly, the midd­le manage­ment hel­ps to iden­ti­fy risks and what can hap­pen when the­re is no chan­ge and what bene­fits the com­pa­ny can expect if the oppor­tu­ni­ty for chan­ge is sei­zed. This ensu­res that all levels of manage­ment and all employees sup­port the chan­ge and accept rene­wals open­ly and with com­mit­ment.

SOICON’s approach: The guiding and helping hand

Our approach to chan­ge pro­ces­ses is cha­rac­te­ri­sed by our gui­ding and at the same time hel­ping hand. Pro­jects must be mana­ged loyal­ly on behalf of top manage­ment. SOICON under­stands loyal­ty not only by the per­cep­ti­on of the client’s inte­rests and the repre­sen­ta­ti­on of the­se against the orga­niz­a­ti­on and the team, but also the acti­ve invol­ve­ment of the midd­le manage­ment. In doing so, we sup­port the seni­or manage­ment in con­trol­ling the chan­ge pro­ces­ses, but also pro­vi­de acti­ve sup­port in the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the chan­ge by the employees and the midd­le manage­ment.
Chan­ge pro­ces­ses are thus not only con­trol­led, but also actively sup­por­ted so that the chan­ge can be suc­cess­ful. In addi­ti­on to the “con­trol­ling hand”, the­re is also a “hel­ping hand” to pro­tect the chan­ge pro­cess.

The accep­t­ance of chan­ge is addi­tio­nal­ly sup­por­ted by the imple­men­ta­ti­on of regu­lar work­shops with the help of SOICON. Here, all employees are given the oppor­tu­ni­ty to adapt to the new struc­tures and pro­ces­ses and to suc­cess­ful­ly ensu­re the intro­duc­tion of new tools and their use.

The SOICON Solution: The Integrated Change Framework

The inte­gra­ted chan­ge frame­work has grown out of direct expe­ri­ence with cou­pled method theo­ry. SOICON knows that midd­le manage­ment is invol­ved in the imple­men­ta­ti­on of the chan­ge pro­gram and yet still accepts the limits set by top manage­ment. This results in excel­lent pre­pa­ra­ti­on for the tran­si­ti­on to line respon­si­bi­li­ty of the midd­le manage­ment.

With the app­li­ca­ti­on of our inte­gra­ted chan­ge frame­work, a con­ti­nuous sta­ke­hol­der manage­ment for the chan­ges is alrea­dy ensu­red with the stra­te­gy defi­ni­ti­on. The manage­ment of chan­ges remains sta­ble. In addi­ti­on, the various manage­ment levels are inte­gra­ted into the chan­ge pro­cess from the out­set accord­ing to a detail­ed road­map. This is important becau­se com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and an exchan­ge of inte­rests can take place at all levels. The chan­ge in the com­pa­ny, howe­ver, only beco­mes a suc­cess for the ent­i­re orga­niz­a­ti­on through regu­lar feed­backs and feed­back eva­lua­ti­on of the employees and their par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in the pro­cess.

Conclusion: Employees must be involved in the change process from the outset

Without the par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on of employees, initia­ti­ves of chan­ges and pro­ces­ses will fail. It is the­re­fo­re important to invol­ve ever­y­bo­dy in the chan­ge pro­cess from the out­set. We at SOICON are con­vin­ced that every manage­ment level con­tri­bu­tes to the suc­cess of a chan­ge pro­gram and that its imple­men­ta­ti­on can only take place through the acti­ve invol­ve­ment of all employees.

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