Change Management – Not Just Another Business Cliche
Guest Writer Steve Johnson, one of our educational specialists here at Learning Without Scars, writes today’s post about Change Management, and why it is not just another business cliche.
Entering the year 2023, I have been in a reflective mood. In my years in business, I have walked the critical path, pushed the envelopes, been right-sized, undergone knowledge transfers, sat directly on the cutting edge, jumped out of the box, been taken offline, launched trial balloons, delivered deliverables, lost traction, gone viral, drilled down to the granular level, hunted the BHAG, arrived “just in time,” and sometimes painfully, have had my paradigm shifted on multiple occasions. There’s always a new book and the following wave of new buzzwords. A person doesn’t have to have been in the business world too long before business jargon starts going from meaningful to meaningless.
The thriving art of business clichés may evolve into business comedy, however, that does not mean that some of the underlying ideas aren’t important. For example, consider the topic of “change management.” A cliché in itself, it has a number of accompanying sub-clichés: company agility, resistance management, the only constant is change, alternative futures, continuous improvement, etc. There is humor in business clichés, yet successful companies understand that there are serious business implications inherent in many of them, particularly when they cannot navigate change.
The list of big companies that could not successfully navigate change is long: Washington Mutual, Blockbuster, American Motors, Lord & Taylor, Prime Computer, Bethlehem Steel, PanAm, TWA, Digital Equipment Corporation, Montgomery Ward, Sears, Sports Authority and Faberge to name a few. Over the last few years in the industries that Learning Without Scars works with, OEM profit margins have decreased, the profitability of service departments have become critical to business success, transforming new technologies are becoming dominant, and industry restructuring and consolidation continues in the pursuit of economies of scale and assortment. Businesses are affected by e-commerce, growing rental markets, more small equipment market competition, alternative energy costs, EPA legislation, Tier 4+, and the list goes on.
Do you have a company plan to address change in the industries you participate in and products you sell? What about the marketplaces you serve? Do your business structures and processes facilitate optimal performance, customer satisfaction and profitability? Are your employees well-trained and up to the task? Are you able to recognize and capitalize on change, and even perhaps gain market share? At this time in 2023, we may or may not go into a recession, but certainly the time will come when we emerge into the growth stage of the business cycle? Now is the time to develop solid product/market plans, focus on employee excellence and strategically position your company for the next “industry wave.”
As you pursue employee excellence in your company, we encourage you to explore educational opportunities at Learning Without Scars for high quality industry- and position-specific education.