Transforming Your Business in Response to Covid-19:  Leveraging Change Management to Transition to a Better Future

Executive Summary

COVID-19 has triggered a global upheaval that may persist for months or years, and its ramifications may be generational.  The private and public sectors are confronting a formidable list of short-term challenges concerning re-growing bottom lines and the economy, stabilizing the labor force, protecting the health and safety of employees and consumers, and meeting evolving customer and citizen needs. We are in a crisis that is unique to this moment.  How the Government and industry transition from crisis mode to creating an encompassing strategy that embraces change, including how to better prepare for potential crises – will determine if the future will produce efficient, effective, adaptive, and transformative organizations.  How do businesses and government agencies craft such a strategy when all their focus is on responding to the complexities of their immediate needs?  We believe that this can be accomplished by applying change management as a strategic lever through the continuum of an organization’s response to COVID-19, from response, through recovery, to the creation of a better future.

“Change Management as a Strategic Enabler in Times of Crisis and Beyond” introduces the key pillars of a robust change framework that are needed to support an organization’s response and recovery strategies. The 4 key pillars are:

Sponsorship – Active and visible executive sponsorship of change strategies and tools.

Accurate assessment of the current state – Initial environmental and cultural review of how organizations traditionally deal with change.

Visualize and plan for the future – Define change methods to achieve the future state beyond the crisis.

Design the transition to close the gap – Create and evolve a strategic framework for the transition to the “new normal” and better future.

Leaders will likely derive multiple iterations of a transition plan to address various changes that are occurring during the uncertainty caused by this crisis.  Our paper discusses the necessary core elements of the transition plan.  These elements include:

Alignment – Part of the business case for utilizing change management as a lever for recovery and beyond is the connection of the organizational change capability to the strategic goals of the organization and tying actions to what executives care about and top priorities.

Technology – Technology and digital platforms can support change enablement throughout recovery and beyond if their power is harnessed properly.

People – Employees are facing fundamental changes in their work environment.  Assuring people embrace and adopt change is accomplished by developing and implementing tactics related to building: desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement.

Governance – With the current disruptions in normal operating procedures, there are questions regarding who has authority to make decisions and under what circumstances.  Expecting sustainable change without effective governance can derail progress throughout response and recovery.

Knowledge management – As organizations assess risk and develop mitigation plans and actions during the response phase of this crisis, best practices that are identified need to be captured and institutionalized.

In our paper, we also review specific impacts to the Government and businesses and how anticipating and preparing for them with effective change tools can minimize the shock, anger, and anxiety that coincides with change.  How will coming back to the office effect the workforce?  Are they comfortable returning?  How will the “reopening” of states in a phased approach impact services and service levels?   Our change framework can also be applied to other pressing issues across industry. How do organizations approach diversifying and coordination of the supply chain to minimize the risk of disruptions? What additional security will be needed for telework? How will interactions within the office change and what tasks can remain virtual?

We lay out our strategy and approach to building and utilizing transformational change aligned with strategic enablers in order to respond, recover, and plan for a better future beyond the pandemic.  At DolJenn, we’re a team of committed individuals with a deep bench of experience in a variety of industries, including Federal, State, and Local Government.  Contact us to learn more about how our team of change enablers can support you during this time of uncertainty and beyond.

To receive a copy of “Change Management as a Strategic Enabler in Times of Crisis and Beyond”, please fill out the form below or call 203-912-9579.

Request for OCM-COVID-19 Strategy Paper