Change is a constant in the economy. Business cycles are never totally predictable. However, change can be long anticipated, planned and prepared for (think inflation, changes in regulation, new consumer trends). At other times, change is externally imposed on companies (an international crisis, global competition, a pandemic). Suddenly, thriving business are struggling to survive. Either way, leaders have the responsibility for meeting the challenges of change management.
Some businesses are agile; they can react fast, pivoting to respond. During a pandemic, these are the companies that are able retool to make PPE and medical devices. Other companies may have limited reserves and lack the flexibility to change direction.
The ability to react to changing situations is at the heart of innovation and success. When a company must change its direction, product, purpose; it comes down to this question: Can management and staff adapt to the new future?
In life, change is inevitable. In business, change is vital—Warren G. Bennis
It is not always possible to prepare for change.
Change management often comes down to direction, money—and personnel. Even if a company can set and fund a new direction, personnel too often limit success.
It’s as simple as this: employees who fear or resist change hold you back.
Your business must be able to adapt to changing conditions. So should your people. Critical thinking skills are essential for change management.
Being able to embrace change is essential at all levels
Engaged employees thrive on change; they are eager to learn and apply the new skills that will move your company forward.
They can think on their feet, responding to dynamic situations. They thrive in a fast paced environment.
They are able to adapt to rapidly evolving technology, capabilities and rising minimum expectations from customers.
Flexibility and other core critical thinking mindset attributes are essential to problem solving throughout business processes.
1. Effective leaders must be innovative
They are resilient agents of change responding to an evolving marketplace. They have an appetite for innovation and identifying opportunities for growth. They create enthusiasm for their vision for the future.
2. Efficient line managers must be adaptable
They are resilient, eager for innovation and system changes. They welcome workplace requirements for change. They seek opportunities to apply new or different skills to grow the company. Managers who are strong critical thinkers and lifelong learners inspire longer retention from their teams. These managers enable collaboration, increase engagement, and improve productivity. They possess, most importantly, the ability to influence and impact change.
3. Dependable core staff members must exhibit workplace flexibility
They are able to welcome and adapt to changing workplace situations and processes; they can learn and implement new or different job-related skills needed for project success.
4. Support staff demonstrate flexibility in assigned responsibilities
They are willing to learn new job skills to apply to their work. They can adapt to changing processes to support company plans.
A growing company is a changing company
Companies need to be agile to respond to external challenges and opportunities. Controlling quality and costs, internally, requires an equal commitment to being nimble. It is not only possible but necessary to identify people who will respect procedures but also who can think creatively about improving processes.
The Insight Business suite provides assessments that are calibrated to objectively measure the nuances of how critical thinking skills needed for change management are manifested as workplace responsibilities increase:
- INSIGHT Executive objectively measures the innovative mindset and 14 other key leadership decision skills and mindsets.
- INSIGHT Business Professional provides an objective assessment of the adaptable mindset and 14 other key professional reasoning skills and mindsets.
- INSIGHT Business Staff objectively assesses the workplace flexibility mindset and 14 other key problem solving skills and work ethic mindsets calibrated for their responsibilities.
- INSIGHT Support objectively measures workplace flexibility and 14 other key job thinking skills and work ethic mindsets as applied to support jobs.
Upskill your staff for change management
Take steps to make sure your staff teams and workers have the skills needed to adapt to change and drive your company into the future of work.
Our online training, INSIGHT Development Program builds critical thinking for real-world problem-solving, learning, and decision-making. The curriculum focuses on the skills and mindset characteristics that are needed for effective change management. Learners can access all 19 IDP modules, 24/7, using any online device.
Our tools are research-based, validated and reliable; they are backed by 30+ years of experience in business, health care and education. Assessments and training are delivered 24/7, using our flexible, proven app based mobile delivery.