Good leaders ‘drive effective change management’

The importance of good leadership when embarking on a change management project cannot be understated.

Recent Deloitte analysis argued that organisation redesign, when done well, brings significant improvements to performance, including reducing costs, boosting customer experience and driving productivity.

However, the company said high-quality leadership is essential to successfully create and implement a change management strategy, as well as ensure employees remain engaged and motivated.

Deloitte assessed 130 organisation design initiatives across the globe and uncovered several central themes that facilitated success.

David Brown, Deloitte Australia's Human Capital Leader, said organisation redesign acts as an accelerator in complex commercial environments.

“The outcome of organisation design hinges on the leader who has the energy to drive necessary decisions and the profile and personal characteristics to build commitment in the organisation,” he explained.

“It is the leaders that facilitate the design and bring it into reality as staff find it easier when they feel they have someone to follow.”

According to Mr Brown, the most common business challenges for global enterprises are productivity and performance.

The normal response to these issues is to reduce headcount, he claimed, but taking a more strategic approach to organisation design and change management can yield better long-term outcomes.

Mr Brown noted that simply committing to change is not enough; leaders must show precise and careful decision-making as they embark on the restructuring process.

He advised businesses to ask themselves key questions at each phase of a project, such as 'how do we know a redesign is the right response?' and 'how can we ensure a greater chance of reorganisation success?'

“It is all about designing your organisation for sustained performance by focusing on core questions, which will assist with understanding why your organisation is undertaking a design project in the first instance,” Mr Brown said.