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Perspectives

The Changing Nature of Organizational Change

2020-04-08


Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, senior leaders need to recalibrate how they position and manage change throughout the organization so the business can emerge stronger and more in tune with human and market needs both now and once the crisis subsides. Here’s how.

Managing business transformations is a major challenge in the best of times — given the need to create new ways of working and develop lasting behaviors and habits to operationalize the change. Overlay that with the uncertainty of a global health pandemic and the need to focus on the human dimension grows exponentially. 

The art and science of change management continues as a foundation, but with far more adaptive and human-centric dimensions. People are quickly adapting to new ways of working and connecting. We are in a living laboratory of profound culture change that is likely to have implications well beyond the pandemic. Here’s our take on how organizational change management (OCM) needs to transform now and going forward.

OCM methods and approaches have been around more than 40 years, with relatively little shift in thinking. That’s partly because they are tried and true methods for managing and changing organizational behavior. 

Conventional approaches are being pushed on a new generation of employees who don’t always respond well to orthodox methods. Moreover, some overlook new learning from science — particularly neuroscience and anthropology — and aren’t suited to contend with the unprecedented societal and health events we’re facing now. 

Each of the insights highlighted here take us another step toward unlocking a capacity for rapid business change that is far more engaging for employees, customers and communities. Keep the conversation going in your organization to identify, pilot and perfect the concepts that fit best with your business needs and your employee and customer desires. 

This article was written by Carol Pasmore, a Vice President within Cognizant Consulting, with input from Chell Smith, Senior Vice President and Practice Leader of Cognizant Consulting.

For more information about managing business continuity during the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 response page.

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The Changing Nature of Organizational Change