Businesses that resist change risk dying – Joseph Anetor, ficm

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Businesses that resist change risk dying – Anetor, FICMI Registrar

 Mr. Joseph Anetor, FICMI, is the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Change Management International. In this interview, Anetor says businesses, organisations, institutions, individuals and government organisations must embrace change to succeed.

What is the Institute of Change Management about? The Institute of Change Management is a response to the growing need to provide support to businesses, organizations, institutions, individuals and government establishments as they deal with the challenges of managing change. Joseph Anetor It is often said that the only constant thing in life is change.

In spite of this belief, the general response to change is one of complacency, nonchalance and, in many cases, resistance. But whether you resist change or not, change will never stop happening. For instance, corporate cultures will continue to change to accommodate shifting business priorities, reorganization plans will happen to properly address emerging business needs, new technology will be adopted to drive business processes and enhance efficiency, even the workforce profile is changing and businesses must respond swiftly to these changes to guarantee survival. Businesses that wish to continue to exist must tap into the opportunities presented by change or live to regret it by way of lost business opportunities or even death.

That said, our institute’s mission is to build skilled and competent change managers across all sectors of the economy.

You said the institute wants to provide support to businesses, individuals and organizations. Again you are saying you want to build skilled and competent change managers across all sectors of the economy. How do you intend to achieve this?

Like I said earlier, this institute was established primarily to provide support to professionals across all disciplines, including businesses, organizations and institutions. Our mandate is to develop capacity in change management in order to enhance the productivity of employees, businesses and organizations across all sectors of the economy.

Research shows that one of the greatest challenges facing organizations is inadequate or total lack of skill in the management of change. That is why a lot of change initiatives do not see the light of day. Many managers believe that change is achieved through pronouncements and enforcement of compliance by wielding the big stick. This often leads to de-motivation, resistance, frustrations and the manifestation of dysfunctional behaviors on the part of employees. Most businesses have good strategic plans but fail at the point of execution due to their inability to successfully implement the changes. This gap is wide and the institute’s mandate is to provide urgent closure to this.

Today, we are talking about self-driving cars; Uber is changing the structure and redefining the shape of commercial road transportation and logistics. Artificial intelligence (AI) has become the buzz-word to describe the future of the workforce. Digital marketing has become the new trend throwing the conventional mode of marketing into serious turmoil. Reaching your target audience is posing a new challenge like never before for businesses as they become overwhelmed by the avalanche of media choices. In the next few decades, oil is expected to lose significant value due to alternative energy sources. The way individuals and businesses respond will to a great extent determine how they will be affected.

We can either become architects of our own future by quickly activating our change management consciousness or remain nonchalant and become victims of change to the detriment of our own future. The question is how does this affect you and I? How do we leverage change to our advantage? The institute’s strategy for gap closure is through provision of training, cutting edge research in change management, organization of seminars, conferences, networking opportunities that bring professionals from all walks of life together to discuss diverse change management challenges and opportunity to share success stories which others can leverage to deal with similar circumstances. We are also building a strong community of change managers through certifications and award of professional membership across all levels.

Members have direct access to the Institute’s research materials on change management and a pool of other professionals to interact with it. What kind of certification are you talking about? The institute is registered to standardize the practice of change management in Nigeria. We have a body of knowledge which intending members must undertake and be examined on before they are certified as professional change managers. We have various categories of membership such as graduate, associate, full member and Fellow. At the moment we are offering direct membership to interested and qualified individuals and corporate organizations. They are certified after a very intensive induction process. This window will be for a short period after which admission will now be through a rigorous examination process.

How has the response been? The response has been quite impressive. We already have a pool of professionals while others are waiting to be inducted as professional members of the institute. Can you highlight some of the benefits of being a member of this institute?

One of the major benefits is the change management skill gap closure that you get. It makes you a professional change manager; your capacity to manage change and get the desired result as a manager is enhanced. In your organization, it positions you as a change agent and the focal point for change management. For the employee, productivity is enhanced with better promotion chances and opportunities for more challenging responsibilities. You become more innovative=minded and always looking for creative ways to achieve results.

Your change readiness becomes more flexible and accommodative. You are more ready to apply technology to accomplish results and see the need for change more readily than others. While others are sticking to their old ways, you looking for the hidden opportunities in every emerging change and taking full advantage before others even begin to notice it. As an organization, the benefit is enormous. When employees are professional change managers, you have a pool of professionals with a change mind-set. They are prepared to question the status quo and evaluate its value in terms of contribution to the organization’s vision.

Resistance to change becomes significantly reduced and productivity enhanced. While other complacent organizations are paying the price of their inability to embrace change as they happen, the organization with change management mind-set is reaping the benefits of speedy assimilation of change.

One beautiful thing about this institute is that it is open to all disciplines because change management is interdisciplinary.

We are at the moment also training professionals that will lead the advocacy for professional change management in organizations and who will also be handy for our training programmes. One can only tap into this opportunity when you register. How do you register? This is very simple. Details can be found on our website . Applicants are advised to first read through the requirements to enable them know which level of membership they qualify for before filling the registration form.

Do you have branches outside Lagos? For now we do not have branches outside Lagos. However, within the next couple of months, we should start setting up offices at strategic locations outside Lagos.

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