How Does Your Organization Adapt to Change?
An organization's growth and development do not come easily. It requires a plan and purpose in every step. By organizational change, we mean the process in which an organization moves from one state to another. Change can take many forms. It can be within the structure, strategy, policies, processes, technology, or culture.
Executives often discuss change as part of the company management. In today's world, the speed of change seems faster and, in some cases, unpredictable. We have all experienced a drop in business because of the pandemic. Now, how much change is needed? They want to know. How fast? How sustainable? And many times, just how? To answer these questions, executives need to understand their organization's capacity to change. Traditionally, the measurement of this capacity has been challenging to evaluate. Bain & Company challenged this complexity by developing a system that measures an organization's change power. They based their research on 2000 employees from 37 large organizations. Bain tracked which change programs worked and which did not occur within these organizations. As a result, they identified nine common traits and abilities that lead companies to succeed in change:
During the pandemic, airline companies faced a significant decrease in travel. What could they do to continue offering their traveling service to clients in their best possible way given the circumstances? Well, those airlines who evaluated and understood their capability on purpose, connection, and action to respond to the downside managed to navigate through change. Yes, it impacted the profitability of their operations, but they reacted with flexibility. A good example is Delta Airlines. They focused on making customers feel comfortable and safe traveling by blocking the sale of tickets of the middle seats. Placing customers first and providing them the safest possible traveling experience during COVID validated the capability of the purpose of the airline.
Delta executives identified the importance of team cohesion. They drew a list of to-do tasks that involved more levels of the organization—emphasizing the importance of engaging employees to work for a common goal and creating a sense of the capability of connection.
Leaders and employees worked together and led the action of laminating cards with new policies and logistics to improve efficiency of flight operations.
Delta is an example of an organization that understood that change matters and how important it is to adapt to uncertain and external circumstances.
The better your organization understands its challenges and focuses on any of the above nine abilities, the higher your change power, performance, and profit will be. Of course, adapt to change goes hand in hand with sound leadership and culture.