Australian businesses lag in embracing change

Technology will drive the biggest changes in companies in coming decade, but Australian businesses lag behind competitors in embracing change

By Ruza Zivkusic | September 21, 2011

Technology will drive the biggest changes in companies in the coming decade, according to a new study, which shows Australian businesses lag behind their competitors in embracing change.

Nearly half of senior Australian executives believe technology is the most significant change they will face, a study called Change or be left behind by Canon has found.

Canon’s Craig Manson says the survey shows Australian businesses take a conservative approach towards dealing with change.

"We know that change is important and the overriding positive message for Australian businesses is to view change as an opportunity, not something to be wary of," Manson says.

"Change is a constant evolution in our business, not just a one-off event or project. It’s how we manage that process, using technology that determines our future success, particularly when compared with the global economic super powers.

"We need to understand how to deal with the barriers to change and what it takes to overcome them."

Executive respondents had ranked Australian companies fourth on the global stage behind developing nations such as China and India when it comes to embracing change.

The report says the top barrier to change is people, who show a fear of the unknown, resistance to change and a lack of vision or understanding about change internally.

"This highlights a skills gap in the leadership qualities required for managing the change process with more attention and resources required, in order for change management to be implemented successfully within Australian firms," the report says.

Fewer than 43 percent of business leaders had placed technology at the top of their list ahead of general company changes.

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