Change is not an option but an inevitable reality for many organizations. In Asia, that reality is even more pronounced given how fast the region’s economies are growing. How can businesses deal with this challenge? Where do they start?

For most companies, managing change stops being optional at a certain point in their lifecycle and becomes an imperative to optimize business results and an essential means to avoid transitioning into irrelevance. The key to delivering on this imperative, especially in a fast-changing world, is innovation.

Why does innovation matter? And how is change management involved?

There is always a better way to do things, and the first to find it and manage it well emerge as winners. When Japanese companies were faced with a shattered economy and bleak prospects after the Second World War, they embraced innovation in a big way, helping Japan emerge as the second largest economy in the world.

But the world has changed. In Asia, the markets are so dynamic now that companies can’t hope to emulate the Japanese model of one-step innovation. To survive and thrive, they need to make innovation a repeatable process. And that’s where change management comes in. A business needs to deal with change that comes from many sources – markets, people, culture or technology. But a change driven primarily by innovation can be shaped and controlled better, by creating an environment and culture that fosters it.

How can a culture of innovation be fostered?

One of the key ingredients for success in creating a culture that embraces change and fosters repeatable innovation is having the right kind of leadership in place. Leaders who practice openness, solicit inputs from the ranks and accept change as the norm are necessary to create the right culture.

By assessing leadership qualities at all levels of the organization and recognizing where the gaps might be, businesses can set themselves up to effectively manage change driven through innovation. The Devine Group offers uniquely customized assessments and follow-on training solutions in the form of leadership workshops to help create this winning culture.

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