Organizational Change Management Strategy
In today’s Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world, organizations constantly need to adapt their business models, processes and work culture to ensure sustainability and long-term growth. This involves the continuous assessment of the external environment and the organization’s capabilities, having clarity of the desired state and developing a strategy for organizational change management. These would aim to inspire and engage the people, as well as sustain change. At Capelle, we develop key change management solutions to guide small and large organizations in Singapore and the Asia Pacific region that can enact change in their institutions and push for greater success.
The ability to align all levels of people on an organization-wide change is a critical success factor that is sometimes overlooked, and whose impact is often under-estimated. Our change management consultancy services in Singapore are designed within the context of the Asia Pacific region. This ensures that institutions operating in this region implement organizational change management strategies that are relevant and effective in delivering their objectives in a VUCA world. You can also learn more about change management through our courses in Singapore.
We support organisations in acquiring the following change management capabilities through our customised services in Singapore:
1. Developing the change strategy and masterplan for implementation
2. Crafting the key messages for communication to all levels within the organization
3. Preparing leaders to dialogue with employees on the changes, to achieve cohesiveness across different levels and functions
4. Measuring the success of the change implementation process, and reinforcing the success story
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Our Value Proposition
- We are guided by a comprehensive framework for Organizational Change Management, Communications and Alignment.
- Our expertise in adult education pedagogy will ensure that line managers will be able to craft a customised, but consistent message for employees at all levels.
- Our diverse team of consultants has extensive experience in shaping mindsets across the leadership hierarchy; thus, we are well-positioned to address the apprehension and reservations that employees of different levels may find hard to express.
Change management is crucial in today’s society – our courses and consultancy services in Singapore seek to equip managers with the necessary expertise to guide their employees in embracing the world in an ever-changing world.
Capelle’s Perspective on Organizational Change Management: How can we manage change in today’s VUCA World?
In today’s VUCA world, the need to manage transformational change is becoming very critical. While the scholastic contributions of Kurt Lewin (1950’s) and Warrant Bennis (1970’s) on Planned Change are still cited by writers and educators on the subject of organizational change management, many managers today seem to be in search of practical ideas to guide their change efforts rather than proven models or strategies. We would like to propose 3 contemporary principles of organizational change management applicable for institutions in Singapore and the APAC region that are effective in the VUCA world.
Principle 1: Advocate constant adaptation rather than refreezing or seek stabilization
The Lewinian concept of categorizing organizational change management into three distinct stages which starts by creating the motivation to change (unfreeze); progresses through communication and empowerment of people to embrace new ways of working (change); and finally ends with returning the organization to a new stabilized state (refreeze) would appear to be too clinical in today’s VUCA world. In a disruptive world with accelerated speed of change, the time to “unfreeze” is getting very short, change itself is “messy” or complex, and there is hardly time to allow people to “refreeze” as the organization seems to be constantly in a state of flux with more changes introduced including new people, systems, structures and technologies in both planned and unplanned fashion. There seems to be a need for constant adaptation to the changing environment rather than to refreeze or seek to create a new stabilized state. The “Double S-Curve” change theory claims that before an organization reaches its new steady state, it ought to put people on a “change treadmill” moving on to the next phase of change ahead of competition!
Principle 2: Accept dynamic planned change rather than static planned change
It has been known for more than 4 decades that managing the planned change process needs to be flexible to accommodate unanticipated variables or events. In the VUCA world, the change process is inherently beset with not just more unanticipated but also unpredictable and ambiguous variables. According to a phrase that is commonly cited by a number of senior Chinese leaders during the Cultural Revolution era, managing the change process in a VUCA world is somewhat akin to: “Let’s figure out where the stones are as we cross the river (摸着石头过河)”. There are certain actions that can only be decided when the information or situation becomes clearer as the change process progresses. This Chinese phrase vividly conjures up an image of fluidity, chaos and risks in carrying out a revolutionary (shift and not drift) type of change. Given the VUCA nature of today, the change process can only define some key desired outcomes, and not a comprehensive plan of actions developed over a stretched period of time. Regular reviews and alterations made to the conceptual change plan have to happen throughout the change journey. Getting people to be resilient in accepting modifications to a master organizational change management plan is a required mindset.
Principle 3: Adopt a strategy of integrated change rather than focusing primarily on human systems
In the book “The Planning of Change” published by W.G. Bennis, K.D. Benne and R. Chin, planned change is described as a “conscious, deliberate, and collaborative effort to improve the operation of a human system.” In 1997, Richard Pascale et al wrote in the HBR article “Changing the Way We Change” advocated 3 practical interventions to increase the quantity as well as the quality of employee involvement in the change process. This article yet again underscored the central focus of organizational change management in the past, i.e. leading people through the change transition. While it is true that people are an important part of the change process, the VUCA world has brought about a greater degree of sophistication with several components interacting with each other more intensely. Some common system components are technology, organization structure, grand strategy, business process, corporate values, and people. The people factor is only one key component of change as an organization embarks on transformational changes. To reap the success of organizational change management, a more integrated approach has to be taken. One illustration might be that the organizational structure has to be reconfigured with the introduction of new technology, creation of new workflow processes, and the induction of new employees of different digital skillsets. For transformational changes, applying the outdated models of merely involving and/or upskilling the existing pool of employees to change the ways they used to do things is insufficient.