When Satya Nadella was appointed CEO of Microsoft in 2014, he had the herculean task of driving major changes within the sizeable organization. The company had faced significant challenges from 2000-2014. Due to stagnation, loss of credibility, and the parallel expansion of rival businesses like Google and Amazon, talented people left for greener pastures.
So, how did he buck this trend?
By designing a transformation plan and generating an urgent call to change the culture of Microsoft. He crafted a clear strategy with innovation and efficiency at its core. He carefully examined and focused on Microsoft’s areas of specialization and driving a culture of staff empowerment and collaboration. And he became Microsoft’s biggest champion of change.
This change brought its own set of challenges, like retraining, role-swapping, and getting managers to align with the new plan. But ultimately, he managed to pull off one of the most remarkable corporate turnarounds ever, thanks to his role as change champion, willingness to embrace change and understanding of how to effectively implement change.
Great business leaders recognize that change is not stationary or a one-time event – it is a continuous process – and it is a business imperative. They also recognize that it can be difficult for people to accept and adjust to the disruptions caused by change. Therefore, for constant change to be successful, it must be coupled with effective change management.
A Structured Way to Bring Change to an Organization
Change management is constant and necessary – because change is constant and inevitable. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all change technique that acts as a secret ingredient for driving change. However, these simple steps can help you establish change coherently.
- Understand your organization’s maturity. At a fish-eye level, top management must understand how the organization would adapt to change.
- The senior managers’ vision and the bottom managers’ implementation must be in sync.
- Recognize the pain points of bottom and middle managers from key influencers.
- Find the change impact and compare the new vs. old process. This can help you drive a smooth transition in change.
- Continuously train the workforce so they can put their best foot forward.
- Finally, communicate constantly. And keep in mind that different types of people absorb information differently.
“Change Starts at the Top but Happens at the Bottom.”
Change management is the only constant for every area of the business – from risk to people to processes to systems, and everything else. It plays a vital role in today’s business landscape.
At Bristlecone, we understand the importance of change and its management. We aim to look at the people side of change, reduce resistance and increase change adoption levels. We provide complete change management consulting and training at different levels of the organization, from people, process and technology adoption to executive training. Our team consists of experts from various backgrounds with decades of experience implementing effective change management strategies and solutions tailored to our clients’ unique needs.