Why you need a change management strategy
Developing a change management strategy can provide direction and purpose for change management plans. They help determine fundamental processes for significant changes within the workforce.
However, key events or processes can affect how they are developed and integrated for the strategy to be successful. From mergers and acquisitions, intranet systems to relocations, product launches to leadership changes; ultimately, change management strategies need to reflect the cause that can create the biggest disruption to a company.
Qtel’s change management through M&A
In 2005, Qatar, the world’s richest economy, per capita, faced one of the most ambitious acquisition sprees in acquisition history. Its state-owned telecom company Qtel went on an acquisition spree and by 2012, Qtel owned 17 telecoms operators in the Muslim world and had become the world’s fastest growing telecoms operator by revenue.
In 2012, Qtel shifted its strategy away from growth through acquisition towards growth through integration. The Chairman and CEO merged their diverse telecoms brands into one mega-brand, Ooredoo. Their objective: to provide transformational change in the telecoms sector. They realigned their strategy and purpose for change:
The change management teams set out to identify what they wanted their brand to stand for. They defined a series of unique branding propositions that would, ultimately, give them standout recognition.
They wanted to offer the Muslim world greater freedom of communication and choice; and they wanted to help rural communities and women, gain a voice. They wanted to change their world for the better.
In February 2013, they launched a new global brand Ooredoo from a standing start in a matter of weeks in Qatar, with the iconic footballer Lionel Messi introduced by the Chairman as the global brand ambassador. It was a stunning success, gaining market share within weeks. With a customer base of more than 95 million people in 17 countries, Ooredoo rapidly became a leading international brand.
Successful change management techniques
For a change management strategy to be successful, it must include the unique characteristics of the change, an action plan for implementing the strategy and highlight any potential risks which could emerge from the change.
Some of the questions you may need to answer when developing a change management plan include:
- How big is the change?
- Who will it affect and how many people will it affect?
- What are you changing and what are the proposed timeframes?
- How did you implement change previously?
- How will you communicate the change?
- What are the potential risks of the change and how can you manage those risks?
Implementing a big change within a company can have dire consequences on the company if not communicated efficiently and coherently. Below are key areas to focus on that can fundamentally shape and deliver your change management strategy:
Purpose of change
Outline why change is necessary and the impact it can have on the whole company. Consider what the change is, the purpose of the change and identifying the pros and cons of the change. This will create key objectives for the change which can then be fed into the overall change management strategy.
This is a great opportunity to find out how the company has managed change in the past; looking at strengths and weaknesses of the delivery and how it can be improved in this latest change. Don’t forget to consider your audience and the communication channels through which you’ll share the change in all aspects of the strategic plans.
The focus for all change management strategies is how to deliver the plan to the required audiences. Consider who the change will affect and how you can communicate the change to them, their peers and their leaders to ensure a smooth execution of the change. The key is to integrate honesty and transparency through all communication platforms every step of the way.
Ascertaining a change management team will help determine who can deliver the change; who will support the deliverer and who has overarching responsibility for implementing change. Assign specific roles to team members in order to give your change management plan a clear focus and directive.
Once you have defined your change management team, the objectives of the change and techniques which could be used to implement change; you are almost ready to formulate a strategic focused plan.
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