Develop creative and flexible solutions
Develop Creative and Flexible Solutions
The workplace culture may be of three types. One that accept change, one that resist change and one of continuous improvement, and supporting change. If you've had more than one job you'll know that each workplace has a distinctive 'feeling' or culture. Some will openly state their values in a mission statement or code of conduct. Sometimes we can just sense the culture by seeing the way people behave at work, and how they go about their jobs. How an organisation deals with change will depend on its culture. Some organisations have a strong culture of change - they seek out and embrace change or they accept change with little or no resistance. Many organisations display a general resistance to change. This is often the case in very structured organisations which encourage strict, inflexible procedures and systems. Then there are other organisations which foster a culture of 'continuous improvement'. These organisations will generally support most of the change programs introduced to the organisation. What sort of organisation are you in?
Managing the Challenges
How do managers deal with the challenges of change and innovation? One way is to create effective teams. Teams are more responsive to challenges in the workplace, and effective teams will often have a positive impact on change. Another is to promote the idea of a 'learning organisation'. This means promoting attitudes and practices that support continuous learning among staff and continuous improvement in the way work is done. You may choose to take a project management approach to managing a change process. Specialist project management tools will help you to monitor progress and to anticipate and deal with problems when they occur. Lastly, all workplaces will be aware of change that is required by legislation - occupational health and safety for example. Such changes will require carefully planned communication and implementation strategies.
Managing risks is an important part of managing change and innovation. Risk management process involves: Identifying any issue in the change process - whether it's a procedural, mechanical, individual or team issue - that could pose a risk. Assessing the risk - deciding how serious it is. Eliminating or controlling the risk. And finally, reviewing the risk management strategies to monitor and improve control measures and find safer ways of doing things.
Ways you can encourage your team to be creative and positive about change include: Scenario planning, strategic vision, matrix of options and rethink and review
These days, the most successful organisations have a clear strategy of innovation to help them to meet the challenges of the future. To support your organisation's change process you need to be able to open the minds, creativity and imagination of your team. Therefore, you should always look for ways where you can encourage your team to be creative and positive about change.
A successful change program relies on sound and innovative management of resources. This has a few aspects to it. You need to plan ahead and budget for the resources your change program will require. You need to monitor the use of those resources to ensure they are used effectively and within budget. But at a more strategic level, successful organisations also practice innovative ways of managing resources - they take a team based approach to managing people, they outsource where appropriate, they use new communication technologies, and they encourage teams to work across sections and departments in an organisation, thus breaking down the traditional boundaries that exist.