Are you Aiming to Manage Change?


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Before the COVID-19 lockdown, less than 1% of health consultations took place over a video link. Now video/internet and phone consultations are seen as the primary method of contact in the first instance between doctors and patients.

In the past few weeks, we’ve seen public buildings repurposed as field hospitals, and factories retooling to produce much-needed ventilators and PPE. Commenting on the transformation at Wales’ Principality Stadium, Wales Rugby Team Manager Martyn Williams said:

“It is one of those times when everybody has pulled together for the greater good.”

A comment which is being echoed across the UK as project after project comes on stream.

It’s a stark reminder of just what is achievable when everyone aligns to a common purpose. It’s also a message that cannot be ignored as we move forward and look to rebuild our economy. So, where do we start? Well, a 2018 FSB report [1] saw the top two barriers to innovation as lack of time (43%) and lack of staff/skilled employees (37%). Recent events have shown that time is only a barrier if you let it be. And as for lack of skills, how people around the world have adapted and overcome challenges is testament to what is achievable with the right incentive.

So perhaps the real barrier to innovation is in creating the conditions for change. In my next article, I’ll look at how culture contributes to change, but before that, it is worth pausing to look at one aspect of the management of change; the part played by team leaders and managers.

You can have the most magnificent innovation strategy in the world, but unless your people are ready and committed to lead its execution, then all you have are words on a page. That thought is borne out by PWC’s 2017 Innovation Benchmark [2], which reported that the most significant innovation challenge was perceived to be in establishing a leadership culture conducive to innovation.  

If you are serious about the future, it is time to ask yourself some serious questions about how you are working to engage your leaders and managers with your innovation strategy. To give you a start we’ve included questions such as whether your management team lead by example and make time for innovation in our AIM [3] assessment model. 

People are ready to embrace possibility and change, the events of the last month or so have shown that. Now, are your managers prepared to lead them? That’s the real innovation challenge!

[1] https://www.fsb.org.uk/docs/default-source/fsb-org-uk/innovation-report-final.pdf?sfvrsn=0
[2] https://www.pwc.com/us/en/advisory-services/innovation-benchmark-findings.html
[3] https://www.the-aim.co/

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