Change Management in Uncertain Economic Conditions

In thriving economic conditions, organizations enjoy lenient and amicable atmosphere. The error tolerance confidence interval is quite large. External circumstances do not necessitate an immediate need to revamp business processes or business models. There is a rare sense of urgency and individuals prefer to take time to thoroughly consider and examine important facts and circumstances prior to making judgments.

Good times are typified by:

• An environment that is both proactive and logically calm.

• Executives at all levels contemplating the big picture. When making judgments, both short-term and long-term factors are carefully considered.

• New initiatives are selected internally as opposed to being pushed by consultants, and the rate and degree of Transformation is under control.

• Crucial decisions are made by both centralized and decentralized authorities.

• Office politics that is contained.

• The fulfillment of the needs of all organizational stakeholders.

• The performance of executives is evaluated based on financial, functional, and behavioral dimensions.

In contrast, during times of uncertainty and catastrophe, organizations lack thriving and tolerant economic circumstances. The finance department is strapped for cash, investment prospects are bleak, and cost reduction becomes a standard. In the majority of enterprises, the tolerance of error confidence interval is small or nonexistent.

Uncertain and crisis-ridden times are typified by:

• Extremely rapid and extensive Business Transformation that is driven by external consultants.

• A significant need to streamline processes or Business Models.

• A reactive and crisis-ridden environment characterized by failures and disasters.

• A continual sense of urgency that causes individuals to perform haphazardly in high-pressure circumstances. These imprudent activities have negative repercussions.

• Lack of time and motivation to thoroughly assess evidence and potential outcomes prior to making judgments.

• Across the board, executives favoring short-term, risky activities without considering the bigger perspective.

• Implementation of a borrowed Change Management Strategy for which there is insufficient support from the organization’s constituents.

• A typically hostile attitude toward the free interchange of alternative opinions.

• An insignificant emphasis on the operational and social attitude facets of Performance.

• A centralized approach to making important decisions.

• Ruthless workplace politics and intolerance for errors that might result in termination of employment.

• An attitude of satisfying the requirements of certain stakeholders in order to seem competent.

• Success of executives being evaluated based solely on their financial results.

Managing Change in times of economic difficulty and disaster is not an easy task. These difficult circumstances result in haphazard planning, misconstrued acts, expensive errors, disasters, bankruptcies, and even closures.

These challenging economic times demand pondering over the following 19 Change Management Strategies to emerge from crises stronger than before:

  1. Pay attention to avert unintended consequences.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into these tactics.

Tactic 1. Pay Attention to Avert Unintended Consequences

Executives behave and act in accordance with the scenarios developed during Scenario Planning meetings. However, people are often surprised by the unintended outcomes they did not anticipate. During poor economic times, these unexpected outcomes are devastating and must be avoided at all costs.

Interested in learning more about the other tactics of managing change? You can download an editable PowerPoint presentation on Change Management Tactics in Uncertain Times here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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I blog about various management frameworks, from Strategic Planning to Digital Transformation to Change Management.

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Mark Bridges

I blog about various management frameworks, from Strategic Planning to Digital Transformation to Change Management.