How often have you heard the phrase “the only constant is change”? Trite but true, this is an area in which modern organisations need to be skilled, or risk their success.

Originally attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus around the year 500 B.C., change is something that has always been with us, and today thanks to ongoing technological advances, change is evolving rapidly now more than ever.

Organisations have very quickly discovered that they too must evolve and change or get left behind. What worked last year may not work next year as customer demands, management expectations to do more with less, and changes to the surrounding work environment increase. The only constant is change and with it, a need to anticipate, plan for and manage change so that business disruptions and losses are avoided, and desired outcomes are given the best chance of succeeding.

Change management is a systematic approach to dealing with the transition or transformation of an organisation’s goals, processes or technologies from the current state to a future, desired state. Primarily, change management is concerned with identifying and guiding individuals to navigate the journey through the change process. For it is the employees of an organisation that will ultimately determine the success or otherwise of the change. If individuals are unsuccessful in their personal transitions, if they don’t embrace and learn a new way of working, the initiative will fail. Whereas if employees embrace and adopt changes required by the initiative, it will deliver the expected results.

When your organisation undertakes projects or initiatives to improve performance, or seeks to take advantage of new opportunities or to implement actions to address key issues, how do you consider the impact of the change on your employees? How does your organisation identify change champions and change resistors? How are you planning to engage with your employees about the change and to how to successfully bring your employees through the change so that they remain engaged, productive and committed to the change?

More and more organisations these days are incorporating a change management approach to support their initiative or project and to answer these questions. It is a key inclusion within the industry best-practice standards for Management Systems (as represented in ISO 45001, ISO 9001 & ISO 14001) as well as within ISO 31000 – Risk Management.

QRMC can work with you to incorporate a change management approach to managing the key risks and opportunities unique to your business.  one of our consultants for further information. More information on managing change will come in future editions of Insight.