Haris Ahmed from Chicago Discusses the Importance of Change Management
Haris Ahmed is the founder and CEO of Pragmatium Consulting Group, Inc. In Chicago, his boutique management consultancy specializes in organizational leadership and executive training. Haris has given talks on change management, organizational development, and project management to large audiences on top of consultancy projects for large companies. He has also taught business and management courses at the University of Notre Dame, where he earned his MBA in strategy.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that, in an ever-changing business environment, most organizations are still afraid to tolerate change, much less embrace it. While these organizations might have healthy bottom lines now, it is likely that they will lose their market leadership to upstarts who make decisions a lot quicker and are able to feel the pulse of the market a lot better.
Tech giant IBM, for example, was a leader in servers during the early 2000s. However, IBM has been left behind when more companies turned to cloud-based storage and virtual machines. It is only now that the once-proud company is proving to be a serious contender in the cloud market. A major contributor to IBM’s fall from grace is its refusal to accept change. While it has been an industry leader in change management and outsourcing for decades, it seems as if upper management did not share their clients’ enthusiasm for change.
Change nowadays is driven more by external forces than internal decisions. The organizations that pick up the signals and act faster create a competitive advantage for themselves. This favors small companies with fewer levels of bureaucracy, since the decision-making process takes a lot less time. Larger companies, with their multiple layers of signatories, tend to spend a lot more time dealing with internal politics as one key person would push a particular solution over other feasible ones. Change management aims to deal with the human factor in the decision-making process either by removing one or more layers or by replacing the structure altogether.
Change management also takes into account the importance of infrastructure. In organizational development, for example, the role of technology often goes unnoticed. The best companies utilize change management techniques to analyze different roles and processes and to suggest and implement recommendations that involve technology to cut through organizational layers. This does not necessarily require a massive investment on the part of the organization; rather, change can be done incrementally and incorporate existing bits and pieces of the process to avoid alienating long-time employees and executives.
Constant change requires constant navigation and adaptation. Projects might be extended or terminated early as the market or organization demands. Change management exists to ensure that the transition to new business models is as smooth as possible. It also answers a need for operational efficiency, employee involvement in decision-making processes, and flexibility within and among departments.
At Pragmatium Consulting Group, Inc., we believe that change is an opportunity for success. We are firm advocates of market change as a catalyst for organizational transformation, and vice-versa. Through our consulting projects with both large and small companies, we aim to contribute positively to the world at large. Change is coming, and Pragmatium is in the middle of it.