The most successful companies are often those that proactively identify opportunities for growth and have a corporate culture that embraces new possibilities. While other organizations stay on the sidelines, companies that confidently pursue change – whether that’s moving into a new market or introducing more efficient business processes – definitely have a competitive edge.
Making the shift to a new industry sector
Targray is a company that successfully embraced and navigated change. For a decade, the Montreal company was an industry leader in CD materials, printing and packaging. But in the early 2000s, management recognized that opportunities for growth in the CD industry were coming to an end.
Realizing that one of the products it supplied to CD manufacturers was also used in the solar power industry, Targray made the ambitious leap into an entirely new market.
The same process occurred several years later when Targray’s management recognized that the turnkey solutions they were developing for their solar energy customers were needed by clients in other clean-tech energy sectors. This led to a move into batteries and biofuels.
The result? Targray is now a diversified multinational specialty materials company with offices in six countries and annual sales of US$400 million in clean-energy solutions and products. Embracing change has made it a leader in four major markets and across multiple industries.
Read more about how Targray’s approach to innovation and change has driven sustainable growth, and watch CEO Andrew Richardson explain how Targray’s successful partnership with HSBC enabled the company to pursue its change agenda.
The change management cycle: from idea to implementation
- Identify the need for change early on: start thinking now about where your business needs to be in one to five years and how you’ll get there
- Prioritize your actions: focus on those with the biggest potential benefits, while also making smaller-scale shifts to create a positive change culture within your organization
- Prepare for change by collecting performance data, considering business implications (organizational and financial), seeking advice from experts, launching a pilot project and creating a timetable
- Promote the change by communicating with your employees, customers and suppliers about why this is important
- Implement the change by clearly defining roles and responsibilities, monitoring progress and making sure all management actions support the change
- Create a culture of change – when change is seen as an inherent part of your organization’s culture, people are more likely to embrace a culture of learning and growth
Ten principles to make change management your competitive advantage
It is not easy to shift course, set new priorities, implement new processes or venture into new markets. Much has been written on successful change management, with most of the advice coming down to the importance of leadership, communication and engaging employees’ hearts and minds about the need for change.
PWC’s Strategy and Business magazine outlines 10 key principles of change management:
- Lead with the culture and build from your organization’s existing strengths
- Start at the top and make sure all senior executives are aligned
- Get input and involvement from every layer of the company
- Present both the what and the why and speak to minds and hearts
- Begin acting on a few critical initiatives that are essential to success to generate momentum
- Engage everyone, all the time
- Look for informal leaders throughout your organization and get them involved in the process
- Make sure your formal structures – operations, training, reward systems – support your new goals
- Find the power in informal solutions
- Assess and measure your results, and adapt as needed
The importance of change champion partners
All the experts agree that successful change requires champions. Those champions can be internal, but external champions are needed as well. Banking partners, for example, can help with credit and financial solutions to support new ventures.
“During our transition period, we were very demanding of HSBC, because, like us, they had to learn all kinds of new things on the fly,” says Targray CEO Andrew Richardson. “The receivables finance solution provided by HSBC really allowed our Solar Division to grow and expand sales, and will be a key pillar in us reaching our revenue objectives in the coming years. Without this line, we would not have the ability to turn our cash and allow us to enter into more deals.”
Contact HSBC to find out how our products and services can help your business be proactive when it comes to change.
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