Managing Strategic Change

As a successful business turnaround consultant, I have found that many CEO’s are oblivious to the need for ongoing operational reviews in all aspects of their business. Many believe their success will be sustainable and profits will continue to role out and satisfy all key stakeholders.

How totally incorrect can you be. When a CEO believes that their products, people and processes are untouchable then this is a prerequisite to a gradual slipping away of their future.

One very important managerial skill is the ability to seek outside experience which will provide the ability to foresee the need for change and exactly where the change short take place by priority. Because, believe it or not, strategy is all about the interface between the organisation and it’s external environment which can quickly demand change to objectives, relationships with customers and suppliers or even competitors.

All of tis will require targeted internal changes to products, processes, structure, skills, resources or procedures. In addition, attention invariably is necessary to elements of the organisational culture. Unfortunately, there is a tendency among may CEO’s to focus on a restricted number of these areas and exclude others. This approach usually yields disappointing results.

My experience in assisting CEO’s gain sustainable improvements is to deal with all of the business units simultaneously or in priority sequence but definitely heading toward a consistency of direction and commonality of purpose.

Strategic management and change management are actually one and the same thing were strategies are developed in response to external demands which are implemented by closely reviewing current operations and strategizing the changes needed. In essence, strategic management is not focussed on managing the change but on the end results of the change. The achievement of pre-determined goals and objectives, the establishment of appropriate infrastructure and the development of new systems and/or procedures.

CEO’s are the custodians of this change process. Their role is to communicate their support for the change process and be seen to lead by example. They need to show true leadership and to orchestrate the change programme in line with the strategic needs of their organisation.

Strategic management within companies will be highly individual and will be largely contingent on the specific identified needs, problems and opportunities facing that company. There is no formula for providing the ideal approach. As each organisation changes and matures, grows and develops, management will face differing challenges.

This is why an external consultant with proven success will deliver the best independent review with unbiased and/or no preconceived perceptions of where the company is relative to moving forward.

It is no secret that products, processes and people need to be managed differently at different stages of their life cycles. This concept is well know by people such as myself and those who have been deeply involved in marketing.

Companies which are currently seeing themselves as very comfortable through their success cycle should not become comfortable with this situation. I class this as being in a reactive orientation which in itself is extremely dangerous to strategic management. The dynamics of an ever changing market place and the volatility it can generate demands an innovative forward thinking management style. Open to change and not becoming comfortable with the status quo.

Status Quo management will ultimately result in the loss of a competitive position and will force the business into a reactive catchup situation. If left long enough, this reactive culture will lead to the need for a major turnaround that, if not accomplished, will result in the demise of the business.

If you believe this note has rung a bell, I would be most happy to have a personal chat to further expand on what my experience can bring to your operation.

I believe in the capabilities of Australian business and how it can compete in the world arena. I have experienced these successes which has given me this passion and belief that any business can be recognised for their contribution to employment opportunities and innovative products and processes.

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