Think HBR

Inclusivity – The Overlooked Resource of Change Management

When rearranging work structures, introducing new technology or moving office change management is often seen as the silver bullet, however this costly (and often ineffective) process could be avoided if staff were consulted earlier.
Sydney business strategist Sean Redmond said successful change isn’t determined by policies, procedures or a change agent’s ability to use the latest change management jargon, but a function of staff motivation.
“If an organisation does not understand how the individual framework of an employee, or the team’s collective framework functions, the chances of success drop dramatically,” said Mr Redmond.
“The cost associated with staff not engaging with the change, or who resist it, can extend far beyond any budgeted amount and can undermine projected savings,” he said.
Most studies show a 50-60 per cent failure rate for organisational change projects, according to the Harvard Business Review.
“If we look at 100 strategic plans for a year, 95 per cent will not demonstrate an understanding that businesses must be building an adaptable organisation if they are to survive moving forward.
Most so-called strategies plan to maintain what already exists.”
“In the last five years we’ve seen a rapid increase in the rate of change in consumer behavior, industry and technology. 
This reality must be brought into daily conversations within an organisation enabling the team to consider the implications and constantly adapt.”
“It becomes easier to create a responsive environment – rather than ensuring an organisation gets left behind with practices that are clearly outdated.”
“It costs a business much more to employ a specialist change management company, than to create an inclusive culture in the first place.”
“Inclusivity is a good concept to adopt. Everyone associated with a company has a unique view which means everybody has value to offer.”
“Yet most companies don’t make use of this resource.” Mr Redmond shared the following tips to build an adaptable organisation:
1. Structure: The hierarchical structure of business doesn’t lend itself to creating a dynamic organisation; sports teams embrace an effective model of working successfully which is more complex than just looking at the positions on the field.
2. Culture: Create a culture where all staff believe they can share their view honestly. Before this can occur in the team, it must be present amongst the leadership group.
3. Communication: Effective communication within the company is priceless – this is best facilitated by listening more to staff in order to evoke discussion and different views to be brought up in conversations.
4. Strategy: Develop a plan to build an organisation, which is comfortable with continually adapting. Most companies this year will be simply maintain what already exists.
Mr Redmond said adaptable organisations are far more likely to achieve success in the future because they don’t see change as a separate component to operations. They actually see change as part of the business life cycle.
“Online organisations excel at this and are at the forefront of this shift – look at Google or customer relationship management company, Sales Force, for example,” said Mr Redmond.
For more information on how to build an adaptable workforce visit
Sean Redmond Sean Redmond
has an extensive background working as an executive leadership coach for corporate mining giants.