Sustainable Change is Strategic – Creating a Culture of Adaptability
An organization that can change can remain competitive. Conversely, an organization that can’t change will become obsolete over time. That is the simplest description of change as a tool – it can keep companies competitive. An organization’s culture can be its biggest strategic advantage. To change means to become different. An organization that not only can change, but change consistently, has created a sustainable competitive advantage. The question then becomes, how does an organization create this sustainable competitive advantage?
There are several recognized models for change management. Each model has its benefits and its sacrifices. Each model can, in effect, be tailored to a business and its leadership as indicated by Grant Shaw in his article 4 Change Management Models for Your Small Business. Some models have value as a communication tool to choreograph large-scale organizational change. This is useful during business process re-design/restructuring or if a company is re-branding. Others have value as an outline to structure continuous or targeted changes that happen on a much smaller scale. An example would be transforming the function of a specific department within a larger company.
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There is a basic principle of change management that applies to both large and small companies – some people will embrace change while others will resist it. When faced with change, small business owners have the added pressure of having limited resources which means that making good decisions about investing in change is critical. There is not much room to make poor strategic decisions when managing any small business, let alone when purposefully making a change within the company. Quite often, change management in small businesses is unsuccessful because there is a lack of communication and follow through with a change management plan, according to Robert Half, a specialized staffing firm. There are several tips that will help small businesses harness change so that they can get a competitive advantage in their market.