Coates

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - CAREERS -

Con­sider this: By 1900, it took 150 years to dou­ble hu­man knowl­edge; to­day, it takes only one or two years. By 2020, it is es­ti­mated that knowl­edge will dou­ble ev­ery 72 days.

3. The global econ­omy has meant that com­pa­nies are no longer only com­pet­ing with the ri­val busi­ness down the block. They are con­tend­ing for tal­ent, re­sources and cus­tomers with com­pa­nies around the world, in­clud­ing those set up as low-startup, low-over­head op­er­a­tions.

4. Dif­fer­ent work­place dy­nam­ics are now in play, as the mil­len­ni­als (born in the ’80s and ’90s) are the largest de­mo­graphic to en­ter the work­force since the boomers, who are re­tir­ing en masse. Be­cause of this new gen­er­a­tion’s unique set of val­ues and its pro­cliv­ity for tech­nol­ogy, their very pres­ence is chang­ing the rules of the work­place.

How is it pos­si­ble to stay on top of changes so that we do not blink and re­al­ize that the world around us has sud­denly shifted for­ward while we were busy do­ing other things?

Flex­i­bil­ity, train­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and most im­por­tantly, thor­ough prepa­ra­tion will cer­tainly help, as well as stay­ing mind­ful of what is hap­pen­ing in your com­pany, the mar­ket­place and the in­dus­try at large. Em­ploy­ees (and job seek­ers) should demon­strate a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to­ward change and that they are able to re­main en­gaged, ready to adapt and open to var­i­ous out­comes.

The fol­low­ing are tips for both em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ers in suc­cess­fully im­ple­ment­ing and man­ag­ing change:

What is the mo­ti­va­tion for the change? Change oc­curs when an or­ga­ni­za­tion finds mo­ti­va­tion to do some­thing dif­fer­ently. Some­times, it is driven by an ex­ter­nal is­sue such as man­age­ment changes or a merger, while other times, it is due to an in­ter­nal fac­tor such as a tech­nol­ogy up­grade or a growth ex­pan­sion.

What are the po­ten­tial gains? When an or­ga­ni­za­tion finds the mo­ti­va­tion needed to change things up, lead­er­ship must con­duct an anal­y­sis of the ben­e­fits and the risks as­so­ci­ated of mak­ing the change — and what are the po­ten­tial risks of not mak­ing it?

Where do we want to go? If it is de­ter­mined that the change will be ben­e­fi­cial, the or­ga­ni­za­tion then de­vel­ops a plan for im­ple­ment­ing it. This stage is vi­tal be­cause change will mostly likely fail with­out care­ful plan­ning as to how it will be im­ple­mented, sup­ported and eval­u­ated.

What will the im­pact be on our peo­ple and op­er­a­tions? Changes can be grad­ual or abrupt, hardly no­tice­able or ma­jor up­heavals. The larger the pro­posed change, the more care and plan­ning that is re­quired. Which in­di­vid­u­als and sys­tems will be most af­fected? What is the most ef­fi­cient way to make this change with­out in­con­ve­nienc­ing cus­tomers?

What sup­ports are needed as we adopt, mon­i­tor and ad­just? In ad­di­tion to de­ter­min­ing de­sired out­comes and es­tab­lish­ing the most suit­able ways to mea­sure re­sults, or­ga­ni­za­tions should de­fine how com­mu­ni­ca­tion will re­main open dur­ing the re­view process, how key in­di­vid­u­als will be en­gaged and how, if any, ad­just­ments will be made to the orig­i­nal plan if it falls short of ex­pec­ta­tions.

Lastly, to­day’s brisk rate of change de­mands a dif­fer­ent type of work­place leader. No longer can man­agers af­ford to be about de­vel­op­ing hi­er­ar­chal struc­tures, set­ting con­trols, crunch­ing numbers and ex­pect­ing em­ploy­ees to sim­ply fol­low their lead. No, the most suc­cess­ful lead­ers will be those who can in­spire change and de­velop lead­er­ship abil­i­ties in oth­ers.

Through team-build­ing, ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion, time man­age­ment and will­ing­ness to em­brace new tech­nol­ogy, these lead­ers will ex­cel at em­pow­er­ing ev­ery­one in the or­ga­ni­za­tion to nav­i­gate their own way through con­stant changes, which in turn will lead the or­ga­ni­za­tion to achiev­ing its goals.

— With reporting by Bar­bara Chabai

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