Change Management – a core competency for leaders?

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Ntombizone Feni | Executive Director | 21st Century | mail me |


How often do we find ourselves grappling with the need for a keen understanding of our ever-shifting environment, or striving to maintain those vital connections with stakeholders amidst the whirlwind? And let’s not forget the relentless pursuit of improvement. It’s a journey we’re all on together, navigating the art and science of change. But here’s the good news: we’re in the same boat, discovering that, with collaboration and resilience, not all hope is lost. How are you embracing this dynamic landscape?

Change Management emerges not merely as a function but as a core competency that should be inculcated in every leadership role. It transcends the question of – Whose job is it, anyway? – a question that often leads to the story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

Let’s delve into some familiar examples and lessons, each facing its unique challenges, and how a comprehensive approach to change management could have altered their course.

Each embarked on ambitious transformations that, while grounded in impressive visionary intent, encountered turbulence not due to a lack of innovation or will but from a gap in a unified approach to facilitating change.

The tech giant’s paradigm shift

A tech giant, once the beacon of hardware innovation, decides to make a big change to focus more on software and online services. This strategic pivot, aimed at harnessing the booming potential of digital solutions, initially sends ripples of confusion and uncertainty through its ecosystem of employees, customers, and shareholders.

What Change Management competencies could be employed?

  • Stakeholder mapping & socio-economic awareness

A thorough analysis reveals a diverse stakeholder landscape, each with unique concerns and aspirations. Recognising the socio-economic variances across its global operations, the company could tailor its communication to address local impacts, ensuring that messages resonate on a personal level.

  • Customised communication

Leveraging insights from stakeholder mapping, communication can be designed to meet stakeholders where they are – employing forums, digital platforms, and direct outreach to articulate the why and the what of the change, therefore fostering an environment of transparency and trust. The communication should be


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Read the full article by Ntombizone Feni, Executive Director, 21st Century, as well as a host of other topical management articles written by professionals, consultants and academics in the April/May 2024 edition of BusinessBrief.


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