In fact, it is easy to embrace this view: management, in various areas of intervention, needs to implement changes and establish paths to achieve results, from adjustments to optimize a computer system, to different interventions to increase sales, to the implementation of a new business model. It is always necessary to identify the necessary changes and the path to implement them, motivating people and overcoming resistance.
Where there are organizations and change, there are people. It is known that 70% of changes fail. Is it because they are complex, there are no means, or the computer systems are not available? Not at all. Changes fail because of us, humans, with ingrained habits, routines, and fears that make us procrastinate in using the processes and behaviors that need to be changed: "we have always done it this way," "I don't have time to learn a new process, to attend training."
Since the human element is the most critical in change management, are Human Resources equipped to intervene and contribute to change in various facets of management? Not always, but they should prepare better. Change management is perhaps the area where their contribution will have the most value in the future.
So many changes are looming. We are in the eye of the hurricane of another technological revolution related to the inclusion of AI in work and a new wave of robotization. Simply put, tasks and functions will disappear.
Just as the computer wins at chess, it also wins at reviewing contracts, driving, detecting errors, making predictions, and comparing documents. It is necessary to change competency models, incentive systems, and, above all, introduce upskilling and reskilling actions that contribute to the (re)qualification of employees to meet new demands.
How to diagnose to identify opportunities and resistance? How to design a change plan? How to involve and motivate employees? How to ensure that changes do not go back? For all these questions, there is an answer. There is no recipe, but there are change management toolkits whose use can be learned for application to various situations.
I did not learn change management during my undergraduate or doctoral studies, and I missed it. To learn more about this subject, I had to seek training outside Portugal. Today, we have this subject integrated into the Master's and Postgraduate programs in HR, and I dare say it is one of the most useful subjects for application in organizations.
We really have to contribute to anticipate and manage change. What happened to companies like Blockbuster and Kodak can and will happen to us.
Article published in RH Magazine.