Can you manage change better as an organization?

Can you manage change better as an organization?

Can you manage change better as an organization?

One of the most overlooked clauses in ISO 9001:2015 is 6.3, “Planning for Changes,” even though the organization seeking ISO 9001 certification knows the significant changes it could bring to the way it carries out its business.

When an organization endeavours to meet the requirements of the Quality Management best practices, everyone and everything is affected. It is seen, however, that instead of trying to entrench the new requirements into their day-to-day running, organizations create a new role and hire someone to be in charge of ISO implementation, and to manage the daily “business as usual” activities.

What many forget is that achieving certification isn’t a project with a start and end date, far from it. It’s an irrevocable commitment to innovation and continuous improvement, which over time, must become embedded in the organization’s DNA.

Try to answer the following questions honestly:

  • Does your company handle change well? Does it always meet its obligations without compromising?
  • Are you updated on a new procedure that enhances your output?
  • Do your employees create new unapproved documents and keep them on their desktops?

If you answered no on the first two questions, and yes on the last, then this could be a clue that explains why your projects are never fully implemented.

Let’s look at a few areas that your organization will need to consider when pursuing change:

  • Leadership – ISO certification requires that all leaders be on the same page. Documented information such as templates, registers and procedures are tools that can be used by your employees. Still, the focus of leadership must move from a ‘how-will-we-develop-its attitude’ to a ‘how-will-we-use-its-attitude’. Doing this ensures that people and technical factors are not separated. Recognize that the change that comes with ISO certification can only be possible through your employees.
  • Understand your employees- Is there resistance to some of the changes that come with ISO certification? Signs of resistance are subtle and can go by unnoticed. Here are some examples;

Is there increased absenteeism?

Has productivity reduced?

Are there passive-aggressive tactics?

Rise of a ‘them’ vs ‘us’ attitude?

In such a case, listen to your people more and ask questions, rather than barking orders. You can use an anonymous questionnaire for valuable feedback. Seek to find out what your people think and feel about the change.

  • Identify your champions – You need to identify which one of your leaders is on your side, who is against it, and who is undecided right from the beginning.

Your leaders, especially those who have the trust of your employees, can be an asset to your organization when pursuing change.

  • Evaluate performance – Evaluation is a great tool to use to keep employees from going back to the old ways of doing things. Conduct internal audits and align your organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to the new processes and activities.

Reward accordingly, but do it to in such a way that it supports the change. Lastly, keep your ear on the ground, and get everyone to the table, including all the stakeholders.  It’s a great way to bring lasting change

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