The things that made your company successful will, most likely, no longer work in the future. But how do you know when – and how – to change? Is change always a good thing, and how do you make sure that you are making the right choices? In this podcast and blog, you’ll get insights into how large enterprises are preparing for the future. Meet Michaël Navon, Head of Strategy and Change at Columbus.
A lot of things are happening in the world right now. But one thing remains true, no matter what else is going on: the market doesn’t care about you or your company. And the market certainly is not going to wait for you. Instead, you are the one who must constantly be moving forward in order to keep up with your customer’s everchanging needs and habits. As Michaël Navon, Head of Strategy and Change at Columbus, puts it:
“Change is always necessary. The market is constantly evolving, and I would say it’s moving faster and faster. Now, on top of it, we have some very interesting geopolitical factors that influence pretty much every company as our world economies are interdependent and interconnected,” he explains.
Read this blog to find out more about how you can prepare for change with Michaël Navon and Martina Lundgren.
You can also watch the episode on YouTube:
In this blog post, we go through topics such as:
- What change actually entails
- How change management can increase the chance of future success
- Why transformations fail
What makes a company successful today will not be the same thing that makes it successful tomorrow.
Change is about evolving
There is a difference between change and transformation, according to Michaël Navon. In both cases, it’s about evolving as a company. You need to find new ways of keeping up with the market, with new technology, and with the evolving work life of your employees.
It’s easy to sit back and think that you have found the magic formula for your company, and to then never change that formula. But only from these last couple of years, it has become apparent that the market does not work that way.
“What makes a company successful today will not be the same thing that makes it successful tomorrow. Like mentioned earlier, the market is evolving at a high speed today. It is putting an immense pressure on each and every company to adapt, to evolve, and to adjust how they do things,” explains Michaël Navon. With more than 20 years of experience, he knows what companies need to focus on to continue to evolve.
“They need to look at the ways of working, the business processes, the organization, the culture of the company, and the technology. The business model should support all of those things.”
Efficiency is one of the key elements that Michaël Navon looks at whenever he is helping a company manage change.
“How can we do good things faster than we used to do? Because again, in the past the speed that we were doing things was enough. It is not anymore. This is putting a gigantic pressure on companies to transform themselves. And as we know, people don't really like change. Companies absolutely hate change.”
Communication is the single point of failure of almost everything because without it, people do not understand what you’re trying to do, why you’re doing it, or how it impacts them. Therefore, it is critical to communicate clearly from a company perspective internally.
Change management is the enabler of future success
This love-hate-relationship with change is the reason why many companies need help to get started on their change journey. The hardest part tends to be to get everyone onboard, and this is where the expertise from experienced consultants such as Michaël Navon almost always is necessary.
“If people don't embrace it, they will be the single points of failure for the overall transformation because at the end of the day, people are what makes a company work or not work. If you force a new way of working, a new set of processes or new software, to people without getting them on the journey very early, it will fail,” he says.
There are a few ways to align the transformation process with your employees and colleagues. Michaël mentions internal communications, a clear and efficient leadership, as well as a thorough training and education concept for the end-users.
“Communication is the single point of failure of almost everything because without it, people do not understand what you’re trying to do, why you’re doing it, or how it impacts them. Therefore, it is critical to communicate clearly from a company perspective internally.”
In an upcoming podcast episode of Leading Business Transformation, we will discuss this topic further together with Swedish manufacturing company Kanthal.
Change is constant, it's not a one-off exercise.
Why transformations fail
On average, 75% of all transformation journeys will not achieve the desired results. This is a high number, but the risks associated with never changing are even higher, according to Michaël Navon.
“Change is constant, it's not a one-off exercise. This is where it becomes tricky, but also why you need experts in the field. The main problem, which is often overlooked, is that the risks will never be the same from one project to another, from one customer to another, from one industry to another. Your single point of failure will be different every single time.”
“Let me give you a very firm example. I had a meeting once with the CEO of a company, and I was asking him, what would be a successful outcome be for you, 2 to 3 years from now? He responded, ‘I would like people in my company to not talk about me’. That was a very funny way to say he was after operational excellence!”
Listen to the podcast episode with Michaël Navon to get more in-depth knowledge and examples of other company’s transformation journeys.