30 Nov The “C” Word – Change
As the end of the year is fast approaching, it is a good opportunity to reflect on 2017 and forecast for the year ahead.
A key theme to 2017 for our industry can be summed up in one C word – ‘change’. Often the word ‘change’ has negative connotations, however managed properly; change can lead to positive outcomes for businesses.
As you would be aware, the industry is undergoing some major changes through the Insolvency Law Reform Act, Safe Harbour and the Bankruptcy Amendment Bill 2017. Considerable changes impacting industry are also predicted to flow through to businesses, individuals and creditors.
As an insolvency practitioner, my profession entails often working with businesses that urgently need to change or they risk facing cessation. Although I do not profess to be an expert in the field of change management, I can share a few learnings from my experiences working with business owners.
The below summarises my experiences on how businesses can deal with and manage change:
- Communicate with staff that the change is imperative to business survival
- Prepare and present a detailed plan of the change with the purpose and impacts post change
- After implementing the plan, continue communications with staff and remain focused on the work involved to ensure the plan succeeds. This will also help manage employee moods and keep staff feeling motivated and cared for
- To avoid regressing on post implementation of the plan, reinforce desired behaviours, guidelines and good habits. Reward staff for their hard efforts in their role throughout the change process
Preparing the proper framework for change will make implementation manageable.
Although it is hard to determine Australia’s business and economic environment, it is almost certain that changes (small or large) will occur throughout the lifecycle of a business. Therefore, it is important to prepare, plan and welcome changes as challenges with an opportunistic mindset.
The Christmas period is an ideal time to reflect over the past 12 months and envisage the year ahead. It is also an opportune time to recharge and relax for a couple of weeks.
I would like to thank you for your support during the year and I look forward to working with you and your clients in 2018.
I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.