While evolutionary change is more gradual and somewhat easier to manage, the implementation of a transformational strategy often means a departure from tradition and the familiar and that involves risk.The Nature of Innovation in Business

Innovation requires change. Change is inevitable because maintaining a competitive advantage in the face of demographic, technological, and globalization trends change at a much higher rate than ever before. Few will argue with this statement, but fewer still will say their organization does a good job at managing changes. This is mainly due to their failure to recognize and deal with all of the aspects of the change dynamic.Fourteen Characteristics of Transformational Change

Transformational change is wrenching and success in managing change of this nature requires the recognition and understanding of all of these characteristics of that endeavor.Change is often resisted in organizations because people seldom are given a chance to understand the reason for the change.The relationship between change and performance is not immediate.Change involves time and the opportunity to learn, and learning is often inefficient.Connect change to business strategy. What are the “good business reasons” behind all of the turmoil?Change for change’s sake is failure. The idea that “If it’s not ‘broke,’ break it and fix it anyway” is a waste of resources.There is value in consistency. Change before it’s needed or changing to chase a fad just increases cynicism in the workplace.Involvement breeds commitment. In the change arena commitment is definitely more desirable than resistance.Implementing change is one thing but it is a quite different notion to implement change in such a way that the organization is more capable of managing change in the future. The latter is the desired state.Change is triggered by disruption. This disruption can originate in both the external, in the environment, and internally within the organization.Change is focused on improving competitive advantage. Never lose sight of this simple fact.Change is universal and revolutionary. There are no “baby steps” here.Change demands an entirely new paradigm in organizational governance and structure.Change is driven by top management.Change cannot occur without significant learning.

Organizational change is a strategic imperative in today’s global and fast-paced environment. There is much that is known about change that is useful. Unfortunately, in the pursuit of trying to stand out from the pack, many business leaders in organizations today urgently grasp for the “latest and greatest” fads and ideas of how to do this. In their haste, they overlook the fundamental principles that are necessary for a successful change to occur. They then wonder why they are not making progress.

Although managing change is difficult, considering these fourteen characteristics of change in their planning can help business leaders improve their organization’s success in delivering those changes.

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