What Should Organizations Do to Be Ready For Change?
Many organizations are currently putting a focus on change management. Leadership, management and human resources teams all understand that it important to prepare teams with the capabilities to pivot when market conditions shift, and function even when confronted with unforeseen change. But how?
Whether the change is sudden and unexpected, as it was during the pandemic, or gradual and far reaching, as when new technologies disrupt old models, the answer for successful change management is the same: organizations must leverage the skills of their learning and development (L&D) teams, performance consultants with instructional design expertise, to provide solutions that fill the gap.
The Role of L&D in Processes to Support Change Management
The following five areas are essential for both organizational and situational readiness, and may be developed with the help of the instructional designers, performance consultants, learning experts within your L&D team or from an outside team of consultants.
- Learning Culture – We’d recommend your organization build a culture that supports professional development and learning to support successful problem solving in response to change. Employees should be encouraged to acquire new skills when needed to solve problems and pivot in their roles, and should be supplied with the time and resource content needed for development.
- Technology Skills Training – Currently, organizations across industries are investing in reskilling or upskilling their employees to prepare for shifts created by increased use of technology – whether it’s necessitated by new consumer patterns, supply chain changes, vendor needs, or just having to communicate and work remotely.
- Capability Training – Different than competency training (as in compliance training or skills training), when you train for capability you empower teams with good decision making skills and strategies to respond to challenges. You build critical thinking and interpersonal skills, as well.
- Support for Marketing, Internal Communication and HR – Organizational change can require restructuring, layoffs, and/or leadership development. Very few organizational departments have as much knowledge of the big picture and cross-knowledge of the company and its roles as L&D. It has a significant role to play in building your internal culture, and mapping performance gaps that would guide initiatives.
- Training Content and Assets – Does your organization have a resource bank of content that employees can draw from when they need fast answers? What about checklists and decision trees to help guide them during unexpected situations? Organizations should be investing in L&D teams to build a knowledge repository.
Solutions to change-induced problems come from human capital and must be supported by employees to be successful. L&D has an essential role to play in preparing your teams. Organizations focused on successful change management would be wise to invest in and increased role for L&D.
Recently, AllenComm’s CEO Ron Zamir offered more helpful advice on this same topic in a recent Forbes article. You can find his complete advice here.