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The role of the manager in change is explored by Gary Wyles


anaging change has always been a hot topic and the old adage that change is a

constant is certainly true. But we’re also of the opinion that change itself is now changing. Te amount of activity, the frequency of projects and the require- ment to adapt quickly is ever-increasing. A survey by IBM in 2010

interviewed 1,500 CEOs from around the world. Eighty per cent expect their environment to grow more complex and only 49 per cent believe their organisations are equipped to deal with it successfully.1 If we think of a graph that maps

the degree of change over time, it seems that for many businesses, the line is getting steeper. Technological advancements, global competition, the availability of knowledge and information online, all mean that change is accelerating. Once we might have been able to take our time, gradually transforming our organi-

sations. Today, the time to complete projects is shortening and the line to deliver results is definitely steeper. Tis rapidity of change means it

cannot be controlled by a few people. Te whole organisation needs to be focused and driven and the most key people are those right at the heart of the organisation – our managers. Any change that is below the line

Change is more revolutionary

can be seen as evolutionary change, perhaps things that even your own people don't notice. But when it comes to accelerating growth, then it will definitely be revolutionary. Tis might not just be a large project, such as opening or closing a plant or investing in new facilities. Sometimes it can be about changing the attitudes and behaviours of people in the business as much as plant, equipment, buildings and processes. Our interpretation is that the steeper the line, the greater the challenge for management and leadership. If we don't proactively man- age the process, communicate with and involve our people in the change, then our results will trail our ambition and that's something that we cannot accept.

Role of managers in change

Change is more evolutionary


Success often comes down to how we manage change. If organisations are caught in the cycle of reacting to change, they will struggle. From low engagement with staff to poor customer satisfaction, increased costs and poor business performance, we cannot let change control us. We

 | june 2016 | 25

Strategic change


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