Organizational change in times of crisis

The challenge

As a result of the pandemic, the economic crisis and the accompanying collective cautiousness, change and crisis management is a hot topic once more. This can be a good thing as this is the time when the shortcomings of an organization become visible and there is a strong need and urgency to improve. Innovation, downsizing, investigating new ways and opportunities, implementing new and better systems, becoming lean & mean: these are all important themes that generally benefit organizations. An important question is whether this will also make them more fun, valuable and meaningful for employees, customers and their environment. That is the biggest challenge.

Change & crisis

The vast majority of changes are prompted by fear: if we don’t change now, something bad will happen. Is that a bad thing? Not in itself, because fear is a strong motivator and most people really need a little push to get out of their comfort zone. On the other hand, fear has the negative effect that people tend to cramp, no longer dare to take initiative and hang their heads, while in difficult times organizations are desperate for creative ideas, initiative, connection, passion, positivity, inspiration and involvement.

Crisis is a danger ánd an opportunity in disguise

The Chinese sign for crisis consists of both the sign for danger and the sign for an opportunity in disguise. What can we learn from that? In addition to fear, vision could well be the forgotten driver for change. What beautiful or valuable things can we achieve together if we dare to take bold steps? A vision that connects can in itself be a powerful motivator to let go of the familiar and work towards a better future.

“Every organization needs people with a vision, the guts to express it and the perseverance to go for it.”

Thomas Benedict – Director and founder InContext

But who has vision?

Is vision the unique area of top management? Our definition of vision is: “An idea with the power to become reality”. If you feel connected to your organization, are able to think freely and want to get something moving, then you already have a vision. Everyone in the organization, regardless of position and title, can have a vision, small or large, practical or abstract. Every organization needs people with a vision, the guts to express it and the perseverance to go for it. They challenge and bring life, meaning and uniqueness to the organization and are extremely valuable to get things moving and thus to change.

Leaders seeking change and improvement do well to be aware of people with vision, even if they resist change. Enter into a dialogue with them and, when and where possible, give them the space to realize their vision, in connection and in the interest of everyone.