Change management has recently become a hot topic in the market. This includes discussions of just how to manage ourselves, change and others.

We often treat “change” as just another event in our business calendars – and rightly so – justified from carefully chosen strategies consistently adhered to.

However, change can be detrimental, particularly if not accompanied by a deep reflection upon the dedicated resources geared toward change management.

Step 1 – Strategy

Truth be told – we often lack resources at the “start”. Subsequently, we are forced to acquire them during strategy execution as business needs crop up during key moments and crises.

For now, let’s ignore the marginal unexpected situations from changes, let’s draw out attention to the results of our well thought out actions; the stages of the strategy we thoroughly know.

As managers with a responsibility for achieving set project goals, do we devote enough time and attention to seeking and preparing optimal resources?

This question opens up a multifaceted discussion, such as:

    • Do we use internal or external resources?
    • Shall we train before, during or after the project?
    • Can we entrust the recruitment process to an external company or to implement your own human resources department?

The key issue and subsequent choice rest with the change leader.

Step 2 – The Right Leader

A viewpoint from the purchasing organisation, who may face challenges such as:

    • Building a purchasing policy
    • Implementing an IT tool to support the entire process
    • A desire to optimise the purchasing process resulting from business needs (eg. reduce purchase costs in select strategic categories)
    • Supervision of appointed change leader (Chief Procurement Officer – CPO).

As such, the enterprise’s executive should duly act.

Candidate criteria for CPO selection may differ depending on the industry. Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that the criteria should be determined by the sector.

One of the key criteria is EXPERIENCE.

Alas, not general experience, but that borne from “participation in the battle under strict conditions”. An equivalent example of combat conditions may be a project implementation: “establishing a central purchasing platform for an organisation”.

Noted, there are predictable challenges which the head of the purchasing function is likely to be forced to face nowadays.

Establishing an experienced leader is so important for a company, particularly those inexperienced companies, can be a significant threat to project success.

The next criterion is KNOWLEDGE.

The project is not the time to train change leaders!

The leaders of change should recognise and highlight the purchasing organisation’s resources. Furthermore, know which change tools are needed, measure risk and minimise it, whilst caring for the current project stage.

The most important factor is the change leader will be proactively involved in defining and implementing a clear strategy; Showing its function in connection with other company goals.

The third criterion worth paying attention to is MANAGING AND MOTIVATING PEOPLE!

This interpersonal skill is important. Yet, more important is without two other aforementioned skill categories, this is insufficient as a lone criterion!

Step 3 – Balance

Greek philosopher Heraklit professed there was no development without change. Therefore, if we want to improve and further optimise, we are condemned to change.

In order to effect change, we must be under no illusion of the cost.

As obvious as it may sound, one final question is whether we are truly accounting for the final balance? Conversely, the drastic alternative cost of obtaining the wrong leaders to carry out change management can be crippling.

An investment well worth it for the long term!

For the second time, the market may not believe us.

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