The new and emerging business environment is going to require entrepreneurs and businesses to reassess the way they do things. Change is becoming constant in our day to day workplace. To facilitate this change element, a vast range of skills, knowledge and capabilities are required in a potential change manager or consultant to deliver it effectively, and ensure any business is able to increase their competitive advantage.
The change element in any organization in most instances is going to be difficult and emotive for most involved. Therefore, it is essential to understand what and who is important in facilitating this change successfully. Organizations need strong leaders and change agents and this starts with developing good habits and practices.
It is essential that organizations are realistic on the scale of the change they wish to deliver. If it is too large, it could fail and damage the organization. Therefore, it is important to involve people at every level from the outset, to establish what can be achieved and by when. It is also vital that any change program is led from the top of the organization.
So before you recruit a change manager or consultant what do you need to consider? Remember change management focuses on business planning, business strategy and organizational design all aimed at delivering enhanced operational flexibility and competitiveness. The results must be clear and tangible.
So ask yourself as the business leader, what are you looking for in a change manager and leader for your business? What is the talent you want to develop for your business and what skills and experience will provide your business with your competitive advantage?
Change is ever evolving and relies on organizations being able to enhance their means and methods of communication with their staff, to gain their commitment. The organization’s vision is paramount and its ability to communicate and gain this commitment will under pin its change management deliverables.
It is important for all organizations to remember the difficulty of implementing strategic changes in companies with established management teams and long-held structures, so experienced interim change managers with specialist skills are recommended.
Be aware, that proven collaborative skills are preferable in your potential recruit. You are looking to appoint someone who will encourage widespread participation by employees in your organization’s future, and about the means by which this change will be brought about.
So what are the key areas of experience and expertise you need to look for when hiring a change manager or consultant?
- • an ability to work across all organizational areas and most importantly, possess the ability to oversee the entire lifecycle from project definition to delivery.
- • a proven track record of delivering business improvement through benchmarking activities is desirable.
- • be capable of producing business cases for review and delivering such reviews in presentation form confidently to the top management team.
- • have proven record of managing a range of change management projects/programms in different industries or within a large scale organization is also a good indicator (nothing instils a company culture of successful change then success itself).
- • be capable of evaluating the existing corporate processes and procedures and where this is not occurring, they should have the ability to intervene ensuring change management is being undertaken in the most efficient and effective manner.
- • must possess and have demonstrated strong stakeholder management skills in previous roles.
Change Management involves a wide variety of stakeholders. Look for a proven leader ideally with strong analytical skills and a creative thinker. Problems will arise and usually at the worst possible times, you want a creative problem solver who will lead, not someone who will duck the major challenges. Finally, when recruiting don’t forget that your role doesn’t stop at simply hiring the right person. Developing a “change culture” grows overtime.
You can play a big part in developing the new leadership culture of your organization by simply supporting the new person in their role. Effective change and transformation is always most successful when it involves strong coalitions working to the right vision.
JJ Collins is a public speaker, author & business consultant. He has over twenty years’ experience of delivering change programs and major projects in the UK & Ireland. He is currently based in the London, working on a book project.