Successful change management even in a crisis

New technologies, new competitors and changing customer behaviour are among the many challenges that companies are facing during the Covid-19 pandemic in particular. As part of the Virtual Manager Training Programme, a group of South African participants learned the essentials of managing change at an online seminar at the start of the year.

Organised by the Carl Duisberg Centers, the training seminar introduced change management by presenting change processes from well-known companies, their motivation for initiating change and its impact, and comparing the results with companies that had not made any changes. Participants learned all about VUCA theory which highlights the four factors of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, as these create special framework conditions for corporate management.

South African course members discovered how one key factor driving this shift, digitization, challenged executives to steer employees through change processes and successfully establish innovation to keep them from falling back into old process patterns. In breakout sessions, participants explored in depth how managers can recognize and respond to resistance and motivate employees to take new paths. They learned about both static and dynamic approaches to change and were able to draw many direct inferences for their daily work from the seminar.

Together, the group discussed scope using the current pandemic as an example of a change driver and discussed what the "new normal" might look like and how necessary changes can be anchored in corporate culture. The seminar consisted of theoretical excursions, practical examples and reflection on participants’ personal experiences and problems.

"The seminar was a game changer for me," MP participant Bongi Mhlongo explained. "It helped me recognise and understand my role as a leader when change management is necessary. I learned how to implement change and how to respond when the team resists change. This knowledge will help me a lot in my business. The seminar exceeded my expectations, and I would be the first one to attend it again," the South African entrepreneur said.