Integrative Improvement Blog

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Change or fail: Why organisations must adapt to survive

Change or fail: Why organisations must adapt to survive

At the beginning of the New Year, there is always talk about resolutions – either on a personal or on a business level. This could therefore be an optimal time to start instituting new workplace practices or initiatives to realise the ideal workplace culture at a time when individuals might be more open to the idea of organisational change.

Transforming work practices can be particularly daunting, but it is essential for organisations pursuing operational excellence and sustainability. Bluntly put, if your organisation doesn’t innovate and change in accordance with market-driven needs and demands, it will fail. In fact, corporate history is littered with examples where complacency eventually led to years of struggling to survive. One needs to look no further than Kodak: It’s self-assurance that it did not need digital photography to remain the market leader ultimately led to its demise. So clearly it is the implementation of change which results in evolving, growing and thriving companies.


What to change

The change being considered should be in alignment with the organisation’s culture, overall values, people and behaviours to encourage the desired results. It should preferably add value to existing initiatives and if not, it should show significant enough return on investment to justify the dilutive effect of not keeping your main thing the main thing.

Just because an idea sounds good, it doesn’t mean it is good. You should endeavour to validate proof of concept based upon detailed, credible research. Do your homework — put the change initiative through a rigorous set of risk/reward and cost/benefit analyses. Any change initiative should be based on solid business logic that drives corresponding financial engineering and modelling. The change being adopted should be measurable — deliverables, benchmarks, deadlines and success metrics must be incorporated into the plan.

Employee engagement

We live in a world where information and social interaction are easily accessible. Gone are the days when management could dictate to employees. A new and more collaborative approach is required, one in which employees feel they are the solution rather than a tool to be wielded relentlessly.

Ownership of problem-solving creates a culture of engagement rather than an environment of resistance, and it is the responsibility of change leaders to communicate change effectively. Whatever your chosen communication channel (not just limited to email!), it should reinforce the need for and benefits of change continuously through to perceived success and beyond.


Unlike 10 years ago, today there is a plethora of change methodologies and models from which to choose. While the processes, activities and tools vary by methodology, many of them share the same principles and practices. It is more important though to execute thoroughly and consistently with whatever change methodology you choose than it is to select the right one.

You need to consider the needs of your organisation and the people you work with to determine which type of model or change system will work best for everyone involved. The best change management model is usually the one that you can customise to fit organisational needs and that addresses the specific concerns of the various people within your organisation. DOWNLOAD: How To Guide: Managing Change across the Organisation to access a useful checklist for evaluating a change methodology.

Finally, leadership is not a static endeavour. In fact, leadership demands fluidity which requires the willingness to recognise the need for change and ultimately, the ability to lead change. And by executing change effectively, your organisation will not only survive but thrive with a new generation of leaders identified from within.

The TRACC framework helps organisations build standardised and integrated good practice and performance capacity across their Plan, Source, Make and Deliver functions. Simultaneously it accelerates their collaboration and alignment capacity to build world class end-to-end value chains, enabling the organisation itself to become the ultimate source of sustainable competitive advantage.
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