News•Business• 21.09.2018 • Susanne Arend/British Chamber of Commerce
Brian Ballantyne and Susanne Arend are seen during the British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg’s “New perspectives on organisational change” breakfast forum, 19 September 2018. Photo credit: BCC/Ian Sanderson
The British Chamber of Commerce ran its third breakfast workshop in its “Leading Change” series, hosted by Badenoch & Clark in the Gare district. Dr Susanne Arend and Brian Ballantyne, members of the BCC’s People & Leadership group, led the interactive event on “managing change in organisations”.
After networking over coffee & croissants, participants had the opportunity to share their own experiences with organisational change, and reflected that change was an inevitable part of business today and that they were dealing with many kinds of change.
Susanne and Brian shared an overview of ‘traditional’ change management models that have been employed by organisations over the last 20 years or so. While these models have proven to be useful for large scale change projects, it was suggested that the people in the organisation were seen as being ‘subjected’ to change rather than being the instigators or initiators of change themselves.
The question was then raised as to whether these ‘traditional’ models of change provide a useful guide to deal with ‘moder’' change triggered by a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world. This shift from “old” to “new” world was illustrated in a humorous way with scenes from the movie Mary Poppins.
Origami fortune tellers were given to participants as a creative takeaway to remind them of different strategies for dealing with a “VUCA” (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world. Photo credit: BCC/Ian Sanderson
To deal with this unpredictable and ongoing change, Susanne and Brian suggested some ideas for managers, teams and the organisation as a whole. These strategies centered around the idea of managers as coaches and facilitators enhancing and supporting their team's decision-making and problem-solving capabilities.
Participants of a British Chamber of Commerce seminar on change management received an origami fortune teller as a reminder of how to respond to a rapidly changing world. Photo credit: BCC/Ian Sanderson
In terms of strategies for teams, agile working conditions are best suited to cope with change in the VUCA world, where team members solve problems together, develop new ideas based on their feedback from customers and clients and adapt products to client demands and needs.
To withstand the impact of VUCA, organisations are advised to create a learning environment, invest in new, innovative products, encourage open feedback and communication, and to ensure that the organisation is in touch with client needs and demands.
“Working out loud” is a relatively new “bottom-up” approach to change management that is already being used in companies such as Bosch & Daimler. Photo credit: BCC/Ian Sanderson
To close off, Brian and Susanne presented a couple of novel ideas on how change can be a bottom up process whereby employees initiate change and challenge the status quo. This has been facilitated through the process of “Working Out Loud” by John Stepper, which has been successfully implemented in organisations such as Bosch and Daimler.