Organizational Change Can Be a Very Good Thing

A business woman is following an arrow that turns abruptly to the right

Organizational change is often portrayed as something to be feared and resisted. We’d like to suggest that change can be a very good thing indeed. It’s all in how you view it.

New directions can be challenging, opportunistic and fun. It is stimulating to change things up. Change stretches you to test new skills, open new doors and consider new perspectives. It can take you, as in the picture, from darkness to light. So why do so many in the corporate world fight organizational change?

One of the reasons is that change can be out of one’s control. If change comes from external circumstances, it is easy to feel more like a victim than like someone in charge. This kind of change has been forced upon you, and you never wanted it. Our advice after two decades in the field of change management consulting is to flip your thinking. Try to look at change as an opportunity…even if it has been foisted upon you by external forces.

Consider the Napster story. The company began as a music swapping program and surged in popularity as listeners learned they could find and share their favorite songs easily. Then disaster struck as the company became the target of lawsuits by musicians who resented their music being offered for free. In comes Bertelsmann, the German media company, to pick up Napster for a song (sorry…couldn’t resist!) and reshape it as a pay-per-download service. Napster was reborn and is thriving in its new business model.

Another reason to welcome change is that you can learn and grow from it. Change requires that you address a problem head-on and be as creative as you can in solving it. With a team working alongside you, you have the benefit of many brains focused on the job and of coming up with a variety of innovative potential solutions. The most successful organizations are those that know how to recognize a situation that needs fixing, work collaboratively on how to make the best of a difficult challenge and make strategic shifts in direction.

For our high growth clients, change in today’s world is a given. When you learn to accept it and handle it well, you will see that change forces you to be more flexible, more innovative and more open to new ideas. Not many companies can survive without the ability to adapt to shifting markets. Healthy organizations understand that sharing knowledge strengthens their adaptability; they are the ones that succeed long-term. The old way of protecting one’s territory and knowledge sharing on a so-called need-to-know basis doesn’t work anymore. The ideal performance environment is one in which all employees can easily find the information they need to do their job most effectively and to connect with others who have a shared purpose.

Are you positioning and accepting organizational change as an opportunity?

Download our change management toolkit now.

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