“Don’t be afraid of change. You may end up losing something good, but you will probably end up gaining something better.”
Mgr. Radka Šušková, Jednatelka New Dimension, s.r.o. | Managing Director New Dimension, s.r.o.
What competence is the most in demand for managers these days? Clearly, it is the ability to manage change. Is it enough to not only have a manager who has this competence, but also one who can actually implement the change?
How do we know that the company is ready for change and how will individual employees react to change?
The last three years have shown how prepared specific companies are for change. They have shown how flexible their internal processes are and whether their people have the competencies to support change management.
Everyone reacts very similarly in the moment of change. What differentiates us from each other is the speed of which we move through the stages of embracing the change. In the beginning, for each of us, change is primarily about stepping out of our comfort zone. It is a change to our state of being where we felt safe. The reaction to stepping out of our comfort zone is the initial resistance and declaring the problems that the new situation will bring. It is a defence mechanism that is triggered in each of us.
At that moment we see something in the change that is very negative. We perceive a disturbance in our balance. The moment we realise that change can bring something positive, we get to the stage where we can start to articulate the benefits. Once we identify a positive attitude towards change, we are ready to engage in it and our confidence is therefore strengthened. It is then that we are ready to implement the change.
A company as a whole goes through similar phases. It is only a question of which phase it will remain in for a longer time period or in which one it will stop completely. There are companies that are sinking into despair in the new situation, paralysed and inactive, which will start to affect their performance and their competitiveness. Other companies, set up for and see change as an opportunity. They use the potential of their people and their creativity. They go through the phases of embracing change together very quickly and therefore become agents of change.
What is the key difference between these companies? Why does one company exhibit reactive behaviour at any given time and another a proactive behaviour? The answer lies in the company culture that has been instilled over a long period of time.
Every company has it. The difference is in the foundations it stands on. A company that supports the creativity of its people, manages innovation, improves its processes and relationships based on shared values is certainly better prepared for change.
Managers in such companies build a company culture based on people and the development of their competences, on seeing the meaning of every job. They can manage projects with agility, focus on the positive and integrate change into everyday life. They work with the attitudes of their people and set a personal example of values. A company built on these pillars of work is in fact ready for change.
Text: Radka Šušková