Harnessing Change for A Winning Business

External environments drive businesses to harness change for the sake of survival. The breakout of the novel coronavirus is an excellent example of how the external environment impacts global businesses – in this case, organizations around the world had to swiftly move to the digital to continue operations.

Change Is Imperative

There are several constant aspects of the environment that demand businesses to harness change on a routine basis, for example, the economic stability of the country a business is operating in, the risk of penetration of new entrants into that market, and the evolution of new technologies, among many others.

While routine changes require little change initiatives, overhauling entire business functions can be a significant challenge., which is why most leaders fail to successfully implement it. Technology is among the leading factors that drive large-scale alterations.

For example, Blockbuster is a video store that housed over 84000 employees at its peak. However, the enterprise remained stagnant while the world was moving towards streaming solutions like Netflix. As users marched on with modern technology, Blockbuster took a major hit and was left behind with a single store nationwide. Orkut and Myspace are similar examples that were pushed aside by websites like Facebook and Instagram.

Implementing Change – The Flawed Mindset

History is filled with examples of companies that failed to change. There are several flaws in leadership mindsets that hinder changing the way organizations operate. Gartner blames inward thinking, and lack of ownership as one of the leading issues that keep enterprises from growing.

How To Do It?

At some point in time, every leading organization requires a major overhaul to maintain its position on the market. However, it is not that simple: some change management initiatives still fail even after trying.

Here are a few ways managements can harness change effectively without disrupting the core functions of their business.


Poorly implemented change can shake the entire firm to the core. Even the most loyal employees start to feel job insecurity and resist the initiative. The key here is to take everyone on board with the long-term plan.

Resistance is bound to happen, but being vocal about the change and taking each team member along will help reducing friction.


Share why the organization is going through such a massive overhaul. Employees need to feel included in the entire initiative. Communicate the end goals with them and share how the company relies on its employees to see this change through successfully.

Leading managements determine how each team will be able to benefit from and contribute to the business. It trickles down the confidence and the drive into low-level employees, enabling a seamless initiative.


Change requires teams to come out of their comfort bubbles and start over. This causes friction as employees are not sure how and where they will fit into the newfound structure. Keep your doors open for employees and direct them so they are on board with the change project.

Resorting to authoritative measures, on the other hand, will increase friction and potentially cause the entire initiative to fail, as is the case with most businesses.


Research conducted by McKinsey highlighted that the degree of ownership an employee takes is directly associated with the success or failure of your change initiative. The team needs reassurances and remuneration.

Allotting individual incentives for members who partake in implementing the change successfully can go a long way for the organization.

Risk assessment

Harnessing change is a tedious and time-taking process. It is imperative to rigorously analyze risks associated with the failure of this initiative, and how they weigh against the risk associated with remaining static.

Determine potential directions this change initiative may take to determine the potential challenges along the way. Develop thorough mitigation strategies for each step of the way – the key is to make sure that the business encounters little to no unforeseen hurdles during the process.

In Conclusion

Harnessing change is among the biggest challenges any business can face across the globe. Poor preparations and inadequate precautions can instantly lead to a failed change initiative, which is why it is critical to plan out the project years in advance.

Successfully implemented change initiatives significantly boost revenues while enabling the business to attain a firm competitive edge on the market for the years to come.

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