Change is not always good. It’s always a risk and needs to be approached with wisdom and foresight. Before you start messing around with your corporate structure, you should perform a change management risk assessment.
Poker, horse race betting, and starting a company have two very important things in common.
Those who participate in them are risk-takers, and those who participate in them successfully have not just been lucky, but have done their homework on the best way to win.
When you have a company transitioning to a different structure, your success will depend largely on your change management risk assessment.
When you start planning for your change, the first thing you’ll need to do is look at budgets, capital holdings, and real holdings. Look at these items as if they were bets you were making.
Have empty warehouses somewhere? That’s a money loser. If you haven’t used them in three years, you should sell them off. Have excess capacity on your assembly line? T
hat’s something else you can lose, probably; but getting rid of excess capacity may hurt the morale of your employees, so it’s a tradeoff.
When you do change management risk assessment, these are the sorts of things you need to look at.
So try this: make three columns. In the first column, list the things you definitely don’t want to get rid of in your company: patents, key staff, real estate, etc.
In the third column, list the things you can definitely sell off or get rid of: unused space, old or outdated equipment, positions in your company that are completely redundant (your receptionist, for instance, may be able to also do the work of another receptionist located a little further into the building).
In the middle column, list those things that you might be able to get rid of, but that will require a tradeoff.
This third column is where your change management risk assessment will happen – and only you can determine how much risk you want to take for possible profit maximization.
But you don’t just change your company to trim out fat; you also change your company to enhance its ability to serve customers.
That could mean an investment in IT equipment, or it could mean hiring new employees, purchasing another factory, or increasing your market research and your product development teams.
Here, change management risk assessment will help you determine what capital investments to make in exchange for a maximum future return.
For instance, if you’re getting ready to put your ordering system online, you will almost certainly need to invest in some serious IT equipment and software, and maybe an additional employee or so to run it.
Your most important decision when working with change management risk assessment is determining who your key leaders should be. For the best results, you should hire a consultant who specializes in change management risk assessment.
They’ve done it all: managing change, troubleshooting problems, and preparing your company for worst-case scenarios.
Other members of your staff should be heavily involved in the risk assessment phases of your change management, of course, but only a consultant who’s been through company change after company change is likely to have the best and most objective view of your potential risk with changes.