As specialists for the people dimension, we also support individual areas of expertise within a company. These are areas that are directed at people whose success is measured by the inclination and behaviour of people: Communication, Compliance/Legal, Human Resources, Information Technology, Innovation, Sales & Marketing, and Strategy & Business Development. This makes them the areas of expertise that are most involved in Transition Management or need to be considered with priority.
Furthermore, we support these areas – independently of company-wide change processes – in overcoming their specific challenges: from change projects that bring new tasks to the area through to optimisation processes and training.
Challenges. The single largest challenge for the area of expertise of compliance is communication, making it essential to translate a legal topic into concrete work, and consider the views of managers and employees. Only those who have understood the essence of a rule can follow it. The other great challenge is contrary strategic objectives that are based on numbers and do not question how they came about. Overcoming these strategic objectives – and the thought patterns based on them – requires the development of a different corporate culture – a task that the specialist area compliance can hardly complete on its own.
Transition Management. The issue of compliance becomes virulent in a change process when the answer to the question, “how do we conduct our business?”, changes. In other words: if the rules for action or omission are rewritten, then these changes need to be conveyed to the organisation. It is very important to consolidate the corporate agenda and transfer the new mindset to everyday operations.
Challenges. The interests of the company and the individual employees will never fully overlap. The multitude of differing profiles and needs complicate the standardisation of measures. Apart from administration and being actively involved in change processes, the responsibility of human resources has not yet been determined in many companies.
Transition Management. In change processes, the human resources department makes an important contribution to success. Human resources recognises the interests of the employees, their wishes, needs and concerns, and can assess their willingness towards certain changes and expected resistance to others. Human resources departments can help adjust the target-orientation and prioritisation of employees and managers, and create incentives for change by providing tools and processes.
Challenges. Competition and technological progress force companies to update their IT in ever shorter cycles in order to enhance performance. Often, the result is an adjustment for users, and they almost always react with rejection. They feel oppressed by a system that forces its rules on them, even though it is beyond their understanding and control. Overcoming this resistance – which is based on a feeling of being powerless – is an important success factor for every IT project.
Transition Management. Change processes often include an IT-element, or may even be based on IT. In such cases, when many changes are required simultaneously from an organisation, it becomes all the more important that the individuals responsible for IT consider the user first. The user must be involved early on and throughout the entire project at regular intervals in order for them to be for, rather than against, change. This is because, otherwise, there is the threat that not only the IT-project is rejected, but the entire change process is seen in a negative light.
Challenges. Innovation requires creativity and a culture in which it can flourish as well as a methodical approach. While the latter is common practice for most managers, there is often a lack of motivation to promote the creativity of their teams, and to break free from habitual thought and perception. The individuals responsible for innovation processes are often confronted with the problem of demanding creativity from an organisation that has little experience in this area.
Transition Management. A company that has institutionalised innovation processes will struggle less when it comes to implementing change successfully. This is not least due to the presence of a significant number of managers and employees who have a proven track record of steering innovation and change. They have the necessary experience and motivation to deliver important support throughout the Transition Management.
Challenges. Corporate communication adds to the success of a company. Ensuring that messages actually reach the addressee amidst the daily flood of incoming information requires the correct strategy, the most effective media, important messages and their effective distribution. This challenge is only heightened when a company finds itself in a special situation, with precise requirements regarding the communication and particular demands on it during that specific phase.
Transition Management. In change processes, the role of communication cannot be underestimated. There is a special responsibility for managers as well as specialised departments: they inform about the situation’s status and planned changes, explain the reasons, consequences and proceedings, and create the basis for understanding and motivation. Should the level of required communication rise significantly, the arsenal of applied communication tools and media needs to be extended.
Challenges. The core challenge of marketing is the correct coordination of strategies regarding the marketing mix while dealing with the constant change of the environment. Regarding sales, it is decisive to keep in touch with the customer or restore the connection. In an environment filled with rising levels of communication background noise and a desire for attention, it becomes increasingly difficult to gain more than just a glimpse.
Transition Management. There is hardly any relevant change process in a company that does not affect the marketing mix. This is why Transition Management must involve the field of marketing & sales, even if the effects of change are only indirect. At the very least it must be ensured that any change does not impact the sales volume negatively. However, it is typically the case that a company will want to ensure that changes are communicated convincingly towards the market and customers.
Challenges. A company that does not plan its future will soon be history. Technologies evolve, stakeholders develop new demands and markets change. A company needs to adjust its actions accordingly, not only reactively, but also proactively with regard to middle- and long-term shifts in the environment of its business. An accurate analysis and interpretation of external data is just as necessary as the identification of optimisation necessities and possibilities within the company itself.
Transition Management. Determining the direction in which a company should evolve also means defining the changes that are necessary and often supporting the implementation of these changes, be it in a steering or controlling function. Thus, the task of Strategy & Corporate Development is not just to show the organisation its future goals and path, but also to enable it to pursue this path. The organisation needs to understand why changes are necessary, what they are and by whom they were brought about. A strategy that does not result in clear instructions will run dry.