A common phrase used in business is “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Or stated in other terms, the only constant in business is change.
There is little doubt that the most successful businesses are adept at managing change. One of the most important elements of change management is how to manage people in a rapidly changing organization. Effectively managing talent in a changing organization is one of those topics that everyone seems to recognize as a necessity, but is so nebulous that it’s hard to articulate the fundamentals of what should be done, and how to execute it.
Training organizations have a critical role in this process. Although change management is most often managed within the c-suite, or by an executive change agent responsible for all aspects of change management, the training organization has a critical role in making sure all aspects of training activities – from processes to courses, to informal delivery and access to content – are strategically aligned to where the business is going.
This may seem obvious, but the problem we often encounter is that we provide training based on the current needs of the organization, rather than based on the future needs of the organization after change initiatives have occurred.
Training executives must be aware of several challenges when leading an organization through change initiatives, including a merger or acquisition, managing sales in a changing business, how to use applied learning to help with change, and the importance of trust between management and a dynamic workforce.
Training organizations contributing the most to changing corporate cultures are those that are led by forward-thinking training executives. Leaders of great training organizations do not follow the mandates of their corporate leaders – they are strategically aligned to the needs of the changing business and a part of the discussions when executive teams begin the planning cycle for change initiatives.
Highly effective training managers not only understand the requirements for leading change in training, but they understand the requirements for leading change within the organization.