Organizational change: a collaborative approach
As we witnessed during the pandemic, developing the adaptive capacity of individuals and organizations is crucial to ensure their proper functioning. Because the future is unpredictable and the world is changing as quickly as customer expectations are rising, adaptation is a necessary disposition to meet current and future challenges. Nevertheless, when a company has to adapt, its entire organizational structure has to be rethought and transformed. Therefore, what skills are essential to initiate and sustain this change?
The pillars of change
An organization is first and foremost a human adventure, and to progress, people have to introspect. To remain competitive, improve their productivity or attract new customers, companies must also question themselves, evolve and adapt. The major transformation processes allow for the emergence of more responsible, digital and agile corporate cultures, to adapt to the objectives and constraints that a company encounters within its own ecosystem.
A company is also strongly influenced by its culture, and culture is only the result of who we are. As the heart of the company, employee involvement is key to organizational transformation. It is around the employees that the company’s structure and operating methods are organized. The human factor is essential to initiate organizational changes and the revision of the company’s structure, because it is at the center of the organization.
To engage employees in the transformation, everything possible must be done to support them through the stages of change. It is at this point that the role of the manager is as important as that of the HR function, as both are responsible for implementing the necessary actions to ensure a smooth transition.
The HR function at the heart of the transformation
If employees are the pillars of transformation, the HR function is the foundation. First of all, the HR function, as its name suggests, provides the company with the organizational and human capacities necessary to achieve its strategic objectives. It has a global view, enabling it to understand all the organizational issues and changes required to achieve the objectives. The HR function is responsible for creating the conditions for the company’s strategy to be realized, and this of course includes the field of corporate culture.
Not only because it contributes to the definition of strategy and drives change, but also because it identifies the key skills to be developed to transform the organization, through its training and recruitment strategy. By organizing the expertise of each person, but also by attracting new talent, the HR function is essential for successful organizational transformation.
Management that guides the transition
Evolving in an uncertain context, companies must adapt more and more rapidly. Business strategy must change in response to the changing environment, and with it, organizational and human capabilities. The most agile companies – those that identify strategies quickly and adapt – have a major competitive differentiation asset to ensure their sustainability. When it comes to aligning with the company’s new strategy, organizational and human capabilities must evolve, transform. And it is largely the responsibility of management to involve and engage employees in the transformation. To better help employees overcome the challenges and changes they face, managers must be leaders who inspire and guide their teams. However, any major transformation cannot be achieved without identifying the essential skills that will enable the change to take place.
3 essential skills to transform your organization
Manage your team and encourage collaboration
As the human factor is the driving force of transformation, it is essential to encourage the development of its teams. New technologies, digital giants and start-ups are revolutionizing managerial practices to adapt to the new expectations of employees. To initiate change and foster organizational transformation, adopting a reinvented, collaborative and innovative managerial model is one of the keys to success.
The ability to adapt
Strategies evolve, and the organization must adapt to the type of strategy chosen. As the organizational structure depends on the company’s strategy, it is also important for employees to develop their ability to adapt, to evolve with the strategy. Today, the environments in which companies evolve are so changeable and unpredictable that they are referred to as “VUCA” environments: Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus). These contexts require organizations to rely on the agility of their organizational capabilities and to develop their capacity to adopt change.
Shift into leadership mode to engage teams
For a successful transformation, cohesive leadership is essential. Being a leader means being able to embody the change with employees and engage them in turn. Leaders are the masters of organizational transformation, as they influence their teams to engage them in the change.
In conclusion, organizational transformation is intrinsically linked to the company’s strategy. When the company’s strategy evolves, the other strategy follows and the entire organization must adapt in order to provide itself with the means to succeed.