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Understanding Change Management and its Importance for Businesses

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Change is a constant in any operating environment. Businesses might pursue change to meet a strategic goal or be forced to change to stay competitive. While the need to embrace change seems to be widely accepted, effecting change is often harder than expected. This is where change management comes in.

Understanding change management

A business needs to effect change in some way when it pursues new objectives. These new goals might relate to growth, downsizing, performance enhancement, taking advantage of market opportunities, solving major problems, or something else. The change can apply to processes and systems, roles and tasks, leadership, business structure, technology, and assets.

This change has to be planned and managed so it's effective and achieves the specified goals. So, change management is the practice or methodology for preparing, supporting, and equipping your employees for a successful change.

While the definition of change management can vary, it's usually a structured approach and process that supports your business in transitioning to a desired state or outcome. It potentially affects every part of your organisation, but it's focused on the human aspect of change as well as the strategic or tactical aspects of the change.

Change management: why it's important for your business

Change management is critical for businesses because of the highly competitive operating environment and the importance of employee buy-in as well as other reasons.

1. Staying competitive

The fast-paced, globalised environment businesses are operating in means adaptability - and so effective change management is critical. Other forces like tough regulatory pressures, market transparency, labour mobility, instant communication, and digital disruption have also led to more intensified competition. In this environment, businesses need to have a culture that "keeps moving all the time" to stay competitive.

2. Obtaining employee buy-in

Employees are the key conduits of change, and if you don't have a powerful plan for managing the people-side of the change, your change plans could fail. On the other hand, a good change management strategy successfully sees employees getting on board, adopting changes, and embracing cultural changes and new ways of working.

An impactful change management strategy typically includes a clear communications strategy to help employees understand the change and make them feel heard and appreciated. So change management could lead to higher engagement while minimising resistance.

By aligning culture, values, people, and behaviour to your new vision, you have a better chance of achieving the desired outcomes.

3. Raising performance

Resistance to change, poor morale, and engagement could affect employee performance. With a comprehensive change management plan designed to encourage employees to jump on board and embrace the change, you could drive higher performance and enhance business outcomes.

This could be associated with higher innovation and reduced costs, including labour costs or wasted employee capacity due to low engagement.

Change management and asset management

So what does change management and its vital role for organisations mean for asset management, and what is the relationship between the two concepts?

1. Planning change

An effective asset management information system can inform change management. When planning for a change, decision makers will usually need to have a comprehensive, accurate view of what they have in terms of assets and how they are used. Only then can they create an informed, focused plan for organisational change.

Discover more about Smart Asset's Asset Management Information System here

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2. Facilitate asset and technology changes

Change management may involve adjustments to the types and uses of technology and other assets - your asset mix, type, and quantity, for example. For example, large-scale transformation programs can be critical drivers of success for asset management. These can impact things like the technology architecture, organisational model, and operating model.

New technology can mean new processes and new ways of working - which can attract employee resistance. Your assets and technology need human input to be productive. Change management plans could offer an effective, structured way to transition - by ensuring the human side of the organisation gets on board with the shift.

3. Mutually supportive

So change management and asset management can be closely intertwined and mutually supportive. An effective change management or asset management strategy probably needs to take into account the other, and for asset managers, engaging in some level of change management might be an ongoing necessity given the rapidly changing, globalised landscape.

We support change managers throughout the transition

Change can be essential for organisations operating in an uncertain, fast-paced environment, and the right change management strategy supports businesses in adapting as required. An effective asset management information system can support your organisation's change management strategy, allowing you to reach your change goals more effectively.

With over two decades of experience in asset management and an expert development team, Smart Asset offers best-in-class asset management software, supported by exceptional training, consulting, and customer service. And we’re committed to assisting change managers with making the transition to using our platform as smooth as possible.

Contact us now to schedule a free, private demo, or to chat to our team about how we can assist you with your unique business requirements.

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