An Introductory Guide to Change Management Firms
If there were companies in the US that had not gone through any major disruption during their existence, that changed last year. Business closures became permanent for 60% of businesses as a result of the pandemic.
Although an anomaly, last year showed that businesses unable to adapt inevitably suffered. This pertains to any major change that can affect an organization. These can be due to either internal or external circumstances.
Change management firms can help businesses navigate through major upheavals. These changes can affect a company's ability to operate.
Change management consultants can impart their expertise to both executives and employees. This can help them adapt to and even embrace changes within the organization.
Read on to find out more about what a change management consultant can do to help your business. You'll also learn when you should hire one.
What Is Change Management?
Arnold Bennett once said, "Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by discomforts.” The same is true for organizational change. Change management firms help organizations adapt to change despite the accompanying discomforts.
Change management refers to the systematic approach used to do this. It involves the implementation of strategies that may stimulate the change needed. Change management firms help companies to effectively prepare for, and control the change.
The process involves continuous employee engagement. This ensures that executives, employees, and teams get the support and help they need throughout the change.
There are five types of organizational change which include:
What type of change is your organization experiencing? Regardless of what it is, a change management consultant can guide you through it.
They ensure that there is a smooth transition to the new way of doing things. They help employees become comfortable in their new roles and with updated processes.
What Does a Change Management Consultant Do?
There may be a great temptation to use internal resources to manage a major change. Although organizational change should involve employees at all levels, to be effective it requires careful management.
Chances are, you don't have anyone within your organization with this expertise. It also involves so many elements that it is a full-time job that requires dedicated resources. Here are some of the things a change management consultant will do for you:
Formulate the Vision
You must know the end goal before starting. Your goal should take financial resources and future growth into consideration. A defined goal is easier to communicate and understand.
Those involved should be able to clearly see the benefits of the new vision for the company as well as for themselves. This will make getting their buy-in easier.
Start at the Top
A good change management consultant knows that any change should start with a company's leaders. They must be the champions of the change in order for it to filter down to the rest of the organization.
The consultant will have one-on-one sessions with members of executive management. This is to ensure they understand what implementation entails.
They should also be able to effectively communicate the change and the benefits to the organization. Most importantly, their commitment to the change must be evident.
Create a Change Management Plan
Successfully reaching your vision entails following a specific plan of action. A change management consultant can create a roadmap for your change journey. It takes into consideration where your organization is currently, versus where you want to be.
It looks at possible issues that may occur during the implementation of the change. The plan should not only cover implementation. It should include what will take place after as well.
Change implementation will only be successful with the involvement of members of the organization. Continuous communication to all stakeholders is imperative. These feedback sessions can alert your consultant to employees that may be resistant.
Consultants then adjust the plan accordingly. Continuous engagement facilitates better communication that helps create support.
Transforming Organizational Culture
It may be necessary to change the current culture of an organization to move forward with the change. It often involves modifying processes. Employees must let go of past procedures to move forward.
A consultant will use methods to facilitate this. These can include:
- New strategies
- Training programs
- Updated equipment
It's important to update the company's infrastructure where necessary, to accommodate the change.
The only way to know if the change is successful is by measuring for success. Monitoring the progress of the change should continue after implementation.
Data compiled during measurement, allows management to make changes where necessary. This might also lead to additional changes.
Benefits of Using a Change Management Firm
Organizations that use change management firms gain many benefits. Change management consultants have relevant training and expertise that in-house managers don't.
Managers can continue with their day-to-day tasks. However, they will also learn the necessary skills while working with the consultants. Some other key benefits include:
- Consultants can formulate and use change programs to train staff across the organization
- They eliminate the need for organizations to hire a dedicated change manager or create a unit
- Consultants can launch change initiatives quickly and safely
- This can result in shorter timelines and lower costs
- They increase the chances of success
- They have the tools that help decrease employee resistance
Their expertise enables them to reduce errors that can be costly to the organization.
When to Hire a Change Management Firm
If you're uncertain when to hire a change management consultant, consider this:
- Is your organization about to or currently going through a major change?
- Is management committed to the change?
- Despite their commitment, are they struggling to manage the change?
- Are members of the organization falling back into old habits that don't support the change?
If you answer yes to any of these, it's time to hire a change management firm.
Change Management Firms to the Rescue
Organizational change is inevitable. It's necessary to facilitate growth and success. However, it can often be challenging.
Most companies don't have the in-house expertise to manage a major change. Change management is also time-consuming. You may not have the option of dedicating resources to the initiative.
Change management firms can help make the process manageable. They have the expertise that can ensure the success of your change program. Choose a firm with the experience and know-how.
Ignite Consulting has a proven approach that guarantees results. We can guide your firm even through the most difficult change. Contact us to discuss how we can help with your project.