Change Management: Change Is Constant And Innovation Is The Key
In order to implement change management tools, one must first understand the definition of change and how it applies to your business. Oftentimes, we associate change with a drastic event that suddenly happens to us, or to the business. This could be a huge shift in the marketplace, a shift in customer behavior or a new competitor that is eating us for lunch.
But, in reality, change isn’t a point in time experience, even though we often treat it that way.
In fact, change is always happening. Change is constant. It’s nipping at our heels day in and day out, even when we aren’t paying attention.
The dictionary definition of change is the following:
[to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to transform or convert; to substitute another or others for; exchange for something else, usually of the same kind]
Your employees have new ideas they want to implement, leadership is looking at new technology to keep your organization competitive, your customers have evolving needs, and your competition has rolled out new features, changing the game for everyone.
When working with organizations, I’ve come to realize that those that see change as a leveragable asset are the ones that thrive, and those that see change as a hinderance that happens around them often fail.
If change is constant both internally and externally, how do we get ahead of it? This is where I’ve found innovation to be so critical. I’m not talking about the latest technology or new product development. Let me suggest our definition of innovation:
Innovation [People, each thinking differently about what’s right in front of them to create differentiated value]
Using this definition of innovation, teams and organizations we’ve worked with have seen measurable results. This brings innovation into the core of your organization and into the daily thoughts and actions of your employees. That translates to more innovative ideas and solutions across the business.
Change management no longer becomes a point in time process to help deal with a new implementation or a single business transition.
Just imagine the difference if your teams were proactively thinking about change versus reacting to change events.
A leadership director at a global marketing firm we recently worked with had this to say when thinking about innovation and change management:
“We are always trying to keep up with change, but the reality is that change leaves clues every day. We can actually see it happening. Those that figure out how to harness change instead of react to it are the ones that win in today’s crowded marketplace of me-to ideas.”
So how does one begin to create a change management process that makes innovation a priority at all levels of an organization?
You begin by helping your teams recognize that each and everyone one of them is innovative and then empower them with the tools to do it.
The reason we created the Innovation Quotient Edge (IQE) assessment, was to do just that. In our 20 plus years of work and research we’ve discovered that everyone is innovative, we all do it, but how we innovate is unique to each of us. And, if organizations can provide their people with the knowledge and the tools to innovate, they win.
What we’ve found is that teams that are armed with this knowledge begin to see change as a leveragable asset. Change management elevates to change harnessing.
Staying ahead of the curve, even creating the curve comes down to two simple but important keys:
- Recognize that change is constant
- Having employees with the knowledge and the tools to innovate daily
Here are three questions for you to consider:
- Does your organization value the two keys above - recognition and daily innovation?
- What is being reactive to change costing you personally in time and effort? Your organization?
- Does your leadership apply change management only at specific times like implementation of a new technology or crisis management?
Change is a powerful and constant element that can lead to great opportunities if you know how to harness it.