4 Business Trends to Expect in 2016, and Tips from John Kotters “Eight Steps to Successful Change”

2016 is sure to be a year of massive change in the business world. Read on to learn four trends your company should be prepared for in the upcoming year and tips from Change Management Guru, John Kotter’s “Eight Steps to Successful Change” for harnessing these trends.   

  • New Leadership:. Companies such as Twitter, Yahoo, and Zappos are undergoing management overhauls and complete restructuring. Shifts in leadership bring several new challenges to team members.  Ensure smooth transitions by openly communicating with the new leadership team. By understanding their expectations and goals from the start, there will be less miscommunication later on.

Tip From John Kotter’s “Eight Steps to Successful Change”: Build the guiding team – get the right people in place with the right emotional commitment, and the right mix of skills and levels.  Zappos offers a generous stipend and rewards package to employees who, after going through the entire training, feel that they are not 100% onboard with and committed to the company vision.  Though there is an up front cost to providing this benefit, it is well-worth the cost to have a team of engaged, and committed team members, and saves the expense of having to re-train and re-hire qualified employees further down the line when stakes are higher.

  • Mergers: 2015 was the biggest year for mergers and acquisitions, and 2016 is projected to be even bigger. When two companies join forces, it can either be a disaster or a perfect marriage. To ensure the latter, be sure to enlist the concerns and ideas from employees at all levels of the company. Discomfort, anxiety and fear are natural emotions to expect from employees, so leaders must find smart ways to assuage these fears.  Eliminating the concepts of fear and apprehension will help an organisation reap the fruits of high employee engagement, enhanced morale and boosted productivity.  

Tip From John Kotter’s “Eight Steps to Successful Change”: Get the vision right – get the team to establish a simple vision and strategy, focus on emotional and creative aspects necessary to drive service and efficiency. Merging two companies with differing cultures and values systems can also be tricky.  Allowing employees from both sides to collaborate and create a new shared vision will boost morale, and ensure all forces are working towards the same goal.

  • Remote Work: As work becomes increasingly cloud-based, brick and mortar offices become obsolete. 37 percent of employees have worked remotely at some point, and this number is only growing. Remote work gives employees the opportunity to have a more flexible schedule, and reduces the time and stress associated with long commutes and dwindling office space and resources.

Tip From John Kotter’s “Eight Steps to Successful Change”: Empower action – Remove obstacles, enable constructive feedback and lots of support from leaders – reward and recognise progress and achievements. With new work environments, and changing office dynamics, management will need to reinvent to ensure maximum productivity, collaboration, and service from employees at all levels.

  • Technology: Technological advances are transforming the workforce, and progressive companies like IBM, and Google are reaping the benefits, while innovation laggards are falling behind.  Social media is taking on an even more important role, from marketing campaigns to recruitment. 43 percent of hiring managers use LinkedIn to find new employees. If you’re not taking advantage of professional social networks to find new talent, you could be missing out on thousands of potential employees who are literally at your fingertips.

Tip From John Kotter’s “Eight Steps to Successful Change”: Create short-term wins – Set aims that are easy to achieve – in bite-size chunks. Manageable numbers of initiatives. Finish current stages before starting new ones.  While it might be difficult to overhaul your entire information database operations or launch a new website, expanding your reach via social media, or implementing a chat system on your website are easy, measurable ways to incorporate new technology for increased success.

Amber M. is the Marketing Associate at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau.  To guarantee successful change management within your organization, contact BigSpeak to learn how an expert speaker, trainer, or consultant can help.  Visit www.bigspeak.com, call (805) 965-1400, or email info@bigspeak.com.