The Changing People and Culture Landscape- Everyday Changes

If there’s one certainty about every January I have lived through, it’s that I’ll attempt to live a healthier lifestyle. That means no more cakes, more exercise and less sitting down when I could be moving. Up until this year,…

Scott Baxter, author of Changing people and culture landscape article

Blog15th Feb 2023

By Scott Baxter

If there’s one certainty about every January I have lived through, it’s that I’ll attempt to live a healthier lifestyle. That means no more cakes, more exercise and less sitting down when I could be moving. Up until this year, I have always viewed my annual “health kick” as being one ‘set piece’ event that needs to be completed to achieve an end goal. That might be true, but its likely that a much more sustainable and healthy way to approach a healthy lifestyle is to live it every day; to notice that it’s a permanent change, and not a temporary project to overcome – before being able to open the snack drawer confidently once again, without fear of repercussions.

We all know this isn’t true – the illusion of “project healthy eating and regular exercise” is just that: an illusion. Without any proper academic analysis of *why* we might do this, I’m going to guess that it’s some kind of comfort blanket – that the “pain” of taking on undesirable tasks is just that: a temporary project. It’ll be over soon!

I’m sure I’m not the only one guilty of adopting this pervasive mindset, and I’m lucky it doesn’t quite extend to my working life. I’ve come to recognise change management as an ongoing process without a defined end. Change management in organisations works best when it develops and evolves iteratively and organically – not as a “one of project”. Of course, some change management initiatives will be more project based; like our recent re-brand from Purpose HR to AAB People, or say for instance a company restructure; but in reality, most aspects of change management are baked into our every day lives, and its how that everyday change management methodology which allows organisations to remain agile and adaptable to changing circumstances: internal or external.

My portfolio at AAB People consists, in large-part, from technology companies. The tech industry is constantly evolving, and companies must adapt to stay ahead of the competition. Change management methodology is crucial in ensuring that tech companies can implement new initiatives and processes effectively and efficiently.

Some of the key reasons why change management is so important in tech companies include:

  1. Complex systems: Tech companies often have complex systems that must work together seamlessly. Change management can help ensure that changes to one part of the system do not negatively impact other parts, leading to problems down the line.
  2. Impact on employees: Tech companies often rely heavily on their employees to develop and implement new technologies. Change management methodologies can help ensure that employees are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their new roles.
  3. Increased efficiency: Change management methodologies can help tech companies implement new processes and technologies more efficiently. By having a clear process in place, companies can ensure that changes are implemented smoothly and without unnecessary delays.

Small businesses are often more nimble and flexible than larger organizations, making them ready adopters of change management initiatives, but they can still struggle. Here are some key tips for successfully managing change in small businesses.

  1. Involve employees in the change process: Involving employees in the change process can help build buy-in and increase their commitment to the change. This can be achieved through regular communication and feedback, involving employees in decision-making, and training and development programs.
  2. Set clear goals and expectations: Clearly communicating the goals and expectations of the change to employees can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objectives. It is important to have a clear understanding of what is expected of each employee in order to successfully implement change.
  3. Communicate regularly: Communication is key to the success of any change management initiative. Regular communication with employees, stakeholders and customers can help keep everyone informed and provide a sense of transparency and trust.
  4. Be flexible: Small businesses are often more flexible than larger organizations, so embrace this and be open to making changes as needed. Be willing to pivot if something is not working and be prepared to make changes in response to feedback from employees and customers.
  5. Prioritize training and development: Training and development are critical components of change management. Ensure that employees have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their new roles. This can include on-the-job training, workshops, and other forms of professional development.
  6. Celebrate success: Change can be challenging, so it is important to acknowledge and celebrate success along the way. Celebrating milestones and recognizing employee contributions can help build momentum and encourage continued progress.

Change is difficult, and understanding change as being an integral part of any company, operated on every level, every day is key to creating a flexible, adaptable, less change-resistant company culture. That ability to foster an adaptable flexible company is a key skill in the people toolkit, especially in a landscape of increasingly competitive trading and investment raising.

To find out more about how an ongoing, iterative approach to everyday change management can positively affect, contact Scott Baxter or your usual AAB People contact

By Scott Baxter

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