ALLIANCE CHAMPIONS

Organizational change, a challenge in a changing world

We live in an ever increasingly faster changing world. Technology, services, products, enterprises, economy, markets, social habits, competition… everything changes. That is why organizations are faced with the challenge to change in an effort to adapt to new times in order to improve their competitiveness, productivity and efficiency.

Alliances such as that of Bioversity International and CIAT are at the vanguard of those changes and need to adapt/adjust their business models to fit this dynamic global context.

The Organizational Management Unit aims to oversee the Alliance Change Management process and internal control process, strengthen our organizational culture, ensure coherence in the policy framework and processes, and foster understanding and adoption of the new proposed work procedures. Likewise, it plays a crucial role in monitoring and following up on the strategic objectives defined by the senior management team, as well as in ensuring delivery on organizational management indicators.

I spoke recently with two of the people that will be part of this unit, and who serve as change managers in the Alliance, Carlos Paredes and Nicole Demers, to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the Organizational Management Unit.

S.P. What topics are key to achieving excellence in organizational management?  

The topics that we will cover initially in our area are described below. However, organizational management is not limited to these topics:

Change Management: It is a structured approach that helps to manage the change aspects related to people and organizations to achieve the desired results. In the process of the Alliance, change management projects will be implemented with support from different champions of a wide range of backgrounds, including science, management, communications, among others, who, from their experience and roles, will be key to project implementation, follow-up and dissemination.

Risk Management: It assesses events likely affecting delivery on the strategic objectives of each of the Alliance areas. Through a structured analysis of the likely impacts of “risk events,” future consequences can be anticipated, thus allowing implementation of action plans to reduce any negative effects.

Internal audits: A significant number of audits are carried out per year to help the organization meet its objectives by providing an external, rigorous and systematic review that makes possible to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of the processes undertaken by the different areas based on best practices and control mechanisms.

Policies, Codes, Processes and Procedures: Most successful organizations are well aligned, in terms of strategy, teams, policies, processes and communications. A critical part of this alignment process is to have in place the governance tools/mechanisms that will allow effective decision-making, define roles and responsibilities, and allow delivery on the organizational objectives through processes predefined under the highest standards.

Organizational Structure: The Alliance areas will be structured based on best practices, looking into ways to operate in an efficient, effective, sustainable manner. Throughout this process, leadership will be supported in close collaboration with Human Resource Management.

S.P. What is the main purpose of Change Management?  

This is not a new topic to Organizational Management. Change Management is an approach that takes relevance in a process of building an alliance as it provides a structured and methodological vision to address change and opportunities for improvement. It is a way to leverage change and ensure the best results possible. It is highly relevant because there are two organizations with different cultures coming together, and this approach makes possible to address it as a challenge.

“Organizational Management will be successful in any organization provided that staff feel committed to the change process, adjust some behaviors and feel capable of starting to perform their daily activities in a different way,” said Vanessa Riveros, Alliance Organizational Management Manager.

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