The Blessing in Disguise: How COVID-19 Changed Change Management Forever
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced rapid changes in the way organizations operate. With the shift to remote work and new technologies, leaders had to adapt quickly to keep their businesses operational. These changes usually take time to plan and implement and convincing employees to embrace new systems can be challenging. However, the crisis forced everyone to realize that change was necessary.
As I reflect on the impact of COVID-19, I can’t help but think about how the pandemic has been a blessing in change management. For instance, many companies have long wanted to implement remote work and flexible schedules, but they faced resistance from employees who were satisfied with the current system. The pandemic forced everyone through Lewin’s unfreezing stage, where they realized that rapid change was essential for survival, and they had no choice but to adapt to the new way of work.
While some people may be unhappy with the changes, I believe many will appreciate the benefits of the new work structure. This crisis may result in less resistance to future changes in organizations. Companies now recognize the importance of communicating and listening to their employees, and I hope these practices will continue even when we’re no longer in crisis mode.
Furthermore, if the new work plan saves money and increases productivity, management may be more inclined to make the change permanent, even if employees are against it. Companies may also invest more money into change management due to COVID-19. We may see a shift in how change management is accomplished, emphasizing rapid adaptation and less resistance to change.
It’s too soon to tell the full impact of COVID-19 on change management, but I’m optimistic about the possibilities. This crisis has forced us to acclimate quickly and has demonstrated to us that change is possible. As we move forward, let’s embrace the new way of work and continue to communicate and listen to each other to create a more flexible and productive future.
Schein, E. H. (1996). Kurt Lewin’s change theory in the field and in the classroom: Notes toward a model of managed learning. MIT Sloan School of Management Reflections: The SoL Journal, 1(1), 59–74. https://doi.org/10.1162/152417399570287