The COVID-19 pandemic has starkly demonstrated the world’s volatility and the ensuing havoc that can rapidly be caused. All too often, it takes a crisis or an unexpected disruption to the daily routine to highlight weaknesses lying just beneath the surface. A company’s strategy is no different. During such times of uncertainty and ambiguity, those business that can respond quickly and cohesively stand a stronger chance of surviving.
Organisational change also requires a degree of negotiation and management: cultural and strategic change is an ongoing feature at Bruker. Change in itself is not necessarily disruptive, but the people involved certainly can determine its outcome and level of success. In recognition of this, we wanted to create a stronger working relationship and transfunctional/collective networking among all levels of our management, staff and stakeholders, as well as across divisions and global functions.
Before the world had heard of COVID-19, Bruker BioSpin had already set in motion an initiative to strengthen its ability to cope and survive. The VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world in which we live makes being able to cope with change a necessity for every company.
Last year, therefore, we launched our in-house Change Management Program at sites across Europe and the US to endow Bruker BioSpin leaders worldwide with the skills to effectively lead and communicate the process of change.
We structured the program so that the content could be delivered across three modules, each focusing on separate aspects: Module 1 — lead and communicate change; Module 2 — develop teams and master complexity; and Module 3 — shape culture and engage people. Each module required 1–1.5 days to deliver, with additional online coaching and peer learning group work. The highly dedicated Executive Management Team within Bruker BioSpin has also completed the Change Management Program.
During this first module, which took place in June 2019, participants focused on becoming adept at understanding organizations, enabling the change lead or agent, steering change communication, and dealing with resistance and emotions.
Autumn 2019 saw participants of the second module learn how to build and lead teams, deal with conflicts in change situations, and foster agile ways of working.
Perhaps ironically, the coronavirus pandemic changed how we were able to deliver the final module. Rather than cancel or postpone the course, we delivered the content in virtual training sessions throughout June and July 2020. Key topics of this third module included embracing culture as a key differentiator, shaping culture and enabling people, and sustaining change in Bruker BioSpin.
Through our Change Management Program we have provided the appropriate methods and tools to empower approximately 150 leaders to lead through change and effectively motivate their teams. Should change — whether planned or unplanned — come knocking on our door, we have full confidence in our leaders to lead their teams and our business to success.