The case for change

Initiating organisational change in times of financial hardship can be a tricky process to navigate. With tighter budgets and slower growth it can often seem illogical to make significant investments in business change or digital transformation. However, it’s particularly important for companies to do so during these times. Successful change and transformation programmes can help to reduce operational costs and relieve financial pressures, both in and out of economic turbulence.

1. Embrace organisational change

Businesses should treat transformations as an opportunity to reinforce their financial security. On the surface, it might seem risky to invest in organisational change during times of increased economic pressure. However, by doing so businesses can save money. Primarily, this is because enhancing areas like digital infrastructure or people training improves the efficiency of services and reduces the resources, time and money spent on delivering them in the long-term.

Making the most of services such as marketing and consultation might also boost customer satisfaction and engagement, helping to maintain growth – a vital lifeline when forecasts are bleak.

2. Planning change programmes

It’s key for businesses to account for an uncertain economy in their transformation plans. Shrewd companies will reserve capital to cover change investments that are carried out in periods of instability and will consider the financial implications of low consumer confidence.

Businesses should be forward-thinking and proactive when planning organisational change. This mindset will enable them to prepare responses to potential fluctuations in consumer demands. Conducting risk assessments early on will establish what problems could arise by undertaking a transformation during economic hardship and how these issues can be mitigated or quickly resolved.

3. Prioritise areas of development

To ensure business change programmes have been adequately planned, companies should prioritise the areas of their business which require the most attention. When the economy is unstable, investments into change should be purposeful and reserved to the areas that will have the greatest impact on the efficiency of business operations. Examples include investments in people change – who should be at the heart of any transformation – and digital transformations.

4. Invest in digital transformations

Digital transformation should be high on the list of change priorities. This is due to rapid advancements in technology; businesses should be on top of the latest equipment and software to speed up response times for better services.

Spending money on digital change during financial hardship will also help to relieve the pressure of attrition and low customer engagement too. Advancing online tools that support remote working can reduce employee travel costs. Similarly, improving automation will help to minimise business costs and the price paid by customers.

5. Maintain a flexible approach

Flexibility is pivotal to successful business change, especially in less certain times. Instead of focusing on implementing transformations perfectly, organisations should endeavour to be agile and adopt an iterative approach to developments. This will help companies to adapt to turbulent economic circumstances as they evolve. It also ensures that spending and transformation journeys are managed effectively.

Making transformations to a business will always be coupled with unforeseen challenges in difficult economic circumstances. Striking a balance between preparation, prioritisation and flexibility is therefore paramount.  This approach will enable change to help a business weather hardship and continue to thrive in the long-term.