How to Build Resilience Into Your Change Management Plan

Business continuity is top of mind for organizations across the globe, as a wide range of new risks present challenges associated with change and disruption. A strong change management plan affects your company’s ability to recover from an impactful event (like the coronavirus pandemic or a cyberattack) and can determine the future of your business.

For many organizations, the coronavirus pandemic exposed gaps in their ability to adapt to change and disruption. Many struggled to implement an all-remote work environment, were thrown by supply chain disruptions, and had a hard time keeping pace in an increasingly complex digital environment. For these organizations, it became clear quickly that they needed to drastically rethink their business continuity approach.

A Strong Change Management Plan Builds Resilience

It used to be that the mark of a forward-thinking organization was a carefully crafted business plan, detailing milestones in 5-, 10-, and 15-year increments. In the face of dramatic world changes, those blueprints for the future have been all but tossed out.

What is proving more valuable than future mapping? A change management plan. A strong and effectively-implemented change management plan bolsters an organization’s resilience and ability to weather change.

Traditionally, the word “resilience” refers to someone’s ability to bounce back from a life-changing event. Since Angela Duckworth published her love letter to grit, resilience has increasingly been used as a cultural and corporate buzzword to refer to a person’s ability to persevere through…anything. When we talk about resilience here, we mean something different. Here, we’re talking about organizational resilience.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines organizational resilience as “the ability of an organization to absorb and adapt in a changing environment to enable it to deliver its objectives and to survive and prosper.” Interestingly, by this definition, a resilient organization is not simply one that responds well to change. It implies a more fluid state to change, one in which change is constant, a part of the ecosystem. The organization has evolved to thrive through change.

Change isn’t a disruptor; it’s the norm. And resilient organizations don’t fight it; they welcome it.

The Case for a Change Management Plan

In our increasingly global world, the size and impact of change and disruption are growing. Organizations that demonstrate resilience adapt more quickly to their new reality, instead of clinging to the old ways of doing things. (We see results of clinginess in the form of the “Great Resignation,” where employees are quitting jobs at companies that refuse to lift return-to-work mandates.)
Effective business continuity strategy and organizational resilience require an organization to plan for change and adapt as situations and landscapes evolve. A change management plan can help your organization build the qualities of resilience into its very fabric. These qualities include:

  • Adaptability
  • Nimbleness
  • Innovation
  • A growth mindset
  • Conscious leadership
  • Inclusiveness

A Change Management Plan Shepherds Employees through Change

A resilient organization takes the responsibility for successfully navigating change upon itself, rather than shifting the responsibility onto its employees. It puts in place the tools, leaders, and communication protocols that enable individuals at all levels of the organization to pivot and reset as required not just to survive, but to grow and thrive.

This kind of resilience is achieved by thinking of change management as a core competency. A resilient organization does not just “do change management” when it needs to upgrade its content management system or restructure a department. Change management is part of the organizational culture and environment.

When this level of resilience is built into the organizational fabric, the organization discovers that it has the systemic tools it needs to respond to unplanned change and disruption. Because history has proven repeatedly that, while we cannot always see it coming, the one thing we can be sure of is that change will happen.

Does Your Organization Need Help Developing a Change Management Plan?

A change management plan can go a long way towards achieving organizational resilience. But change isn’t always easy and knowing where to start can be confounding!

GSX helps organizations develop innovative talent management and human capital strategies using multiple forms of credentialing and learning solutions. We work with your organization to build and maintain agility and resiliency in your workforce through a fully customizable methodology, advanced readiness tools, and critical analytics that addresses your need to focus on the change concerns of today and tomorrow.
If your organization is struggling to adapt to change in the workplace, Global Skills X-Change can help! Contact us today!

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Kevin Edwards ⋅ (703)

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