Change management is a crucial process in any organization that involves making modifications to processes and operations, where it helps to ensure that the changes are implemented effectively, with minimal disruption to operations and maximum benefits to the organization. The value of change management lies in its ability to ensure that changes are made successfully and with the least amount of disruption. By managing the change process effectively, organisations can improve performance, reduce risk, and develop a culture of adaptability that can help them succeed in today's rapidly changing business environment, which is of utmost importance.
We've asked Emma Payne, our new VP of People & Culture, to share her valuable insights on the subject. Emma has extensive experience in talent management and change leadership, with her career spanning across the UK and Asia Pacific. Here's what she had to say:
Hi Emma! You specialise in talent and hiring. We were wondering if you could elaborate a bit more on what you do here at Openspace?
As VP of People & Culture, my purpose is to nurture and strengthen our culture, to inspire and support the development and growth of our people and provide guidance to the exciting set of portfolio companies as they scale. As a new joiner to Openspace I am prioritising getting to know my colleagues and learning about our Portfolio companies. As a people leader I believe in the important of the employee voice, actively listening to the people and acknowledging the good, the bad and the ugly. Understanding what has the potential to make my colleagues feel more inspired, valued, engaged, and fulfilled at work enables me to validate my priorities so I can focus on what will have the biggest impact for the team and the business.
We’d like to talk about the importance of culture and change today. What do you think are several key things that an organisation needs to do when wanting to implement change management?
The aftermath of the pandemic, dramatic climate change and political instability around the world has resulted in major disruptions in the way we work and our needs. Positively these macro factors have driven an acceleration of technological innovation, scientific advances and importantly people are valuing purpose and well being as a priority. The environment we live in is one where change is constant. There isn’t a rule book to change. Change is situational so when preparing to implement change I like to start acknowledging some basic truths about change:
As you prepare to implement change take time to:
What are several key obstacles that tend to be faced when wanting to implement change, and how can we best overcome these?
In my experience change initiatives often fail due to:
Overcoming change challenges requires a combination of leadership sponsorship, effective communication, careful planning and ongoing engagement across all stakeholders which you can achieve by:
Do you have any advice for startups or our portfolio companies when it comes to implementing changes and importance of culture in a firm?
Change success requires empathy, boldness and courage. My advice to our portfolio companies planning on implementing a change is to involve your stakeholders in change, identify and address cultural barriers and invest in a culture that supports and embraces change. Start with:
And remember change impacts people, and your people are your culture, to quote Tony Hsieh: "a company’s culture is often the biggest determinant of success or failure". Culture isn’t a list of values or desired results; it is your DNA. Living your values ensures your culture is authentic; your culture is a living thing and it requires constant nourishing. Like change it takes time, reflection and pivoting to be real and authentic. Your culture is what enables your people to thrive, and when they thrive – well I suspect your business results will speak for themselves.