5 Essential skills for a successful corporate change

During the last couple of years, many of South Africa’s companies changed their strategy. Unfortunately, not all of them have proven to be successful. Which skills are essential for an advocate of change within an organisation to change their strategy or direction?

We asked a variety of consultants and strategists in the field, who all mentioned one key word when asked the question: 'flexibility'. Noted. Subsequently, they assigned five essential skills for any 'changer' to accompany this crucial quality.

Based on what we heard, we established the following five essential skills for a professional guiding a successful strategy change: the 5 ultimate skills for a good 'changer'.

  1. He/she is a better planner and better capable of assessing exactly which knowledge and expertise the organisation might need in five years from now;
  2. He/she has clearly defined guiding lines for the extent and margins of the flexibility within the organisation.
  3. He/she has a good notion of the consequences of developments in the labor market in five years from now;
  4. He/she is up-to-date on the HR-strategy within the organisation for the coming 3-5 years, which is already set;
  5. There is a distinct relation between this HR-strategy and the company goals, which are adjusted to each other carefully.

Next to the organisation having to be flexible, there is also a crucial role of importance for 'inspiring leadership', according to our panellists. Clearly, a successful change within a company relies heavily on the way the leader puts it forward. If a director expresses its vision and goals in a clear and comprehensible way, they appear to encourage and enthuse employees significantly more than those who lack this expressive manner. Affectively, this means employees have a better understanding of what's expected of them, therewith enhancing the triumph of the change.

Conclusion: even in times of hardship like these, changes within a company can still be successful, if only put forward by the right person, in the right manner.

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