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Four Factors for Assessing Change Management

A crisis is no time to change management but it is time to judge it

The initial days and weeks that followed Boris Johnson’s announcement of the UK-wide lockdown was one the most unusual times I have ever experienced in business. No sooner had Johnson uttered those fateful words on the 23rd March 2020 “You must stay at home,” every business owner and manager began frantically preparing for life under lockdown.

The mad rush to get Britain’s employees set up for home working will be one of the defining moments of the pandemic. But when you have fitness celebrities, weather presenters and even chat show hosts seamlessly shifting to a life on Zoom within just a few days, you not only see how adaptable people can be when the situation demands it, but also how easy homeworking is to set up. The fact that home working is so easy to setup is perhaps the least surprising part of the whole situation. The more surprising element for many employers has been the recurrence of this question – “how exactly do I manage a mobile workforce?”

No time for change management
While the rush to homeworking may not have been the change most companies wanted, it was the change they got. And they embraced it gladly in order to survive. Typically however, in “normal” circumstances, no business would embark on such a fundamental change to its operations without assessing, planning, and mapping out all of the knock-on effects of the change to the rest of the business. In other words, a business would not move to homeworking without developing a change management plan first.

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