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Three key competitive advantages of change ready businesses

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Agility, adaptability, flexibility – they’re more than just buzzwords and, for the first time, we can quantify their competitive advantages.  


Road to Growth: Optus Future of Business Report 2015 reveals just how change‑ready businesses outperform other organisations.


This year’s report is based on interviews with more than 500 senior business leaders across Australia. Using the results of this extensive survey, we developed an Australian Business Change Readiness Score.


The report’s findings suggest that businesses with high change readiness scores are:


  • high performers – they’re 81 per cent more likely than organisations with low scores to have outperformed the industry average over the past two or three years
  • growing rapidly – they’re more than twice as likely to have overachieved on their growth targets
  • highly adaptable – with an average 75 per cent success rate at change initiatives.

What does it mean to be change ready?

When we talk about change readiness, we’re not talking about a business process or a job function. And it’s definitely not the same as change management - the well‑established practice of assisting employees through a particular change such as implementing a new technology.


Our research shows that change readiness encompasses the entire organisation, requiring its people, culture, processes, systems, products and services to be ready for any type of change, ranging from a company-wide transformation to a modified product line.


Change readiness becomes a part of the business DNA in leading organisations. They are not reactive to change, although they can react quickly when they need to. Instead, change-ready businesses are proactive. They’re ahead of the curve, and they change for positive reasons. They change to improve collaboration among their employees, to engage with customers in more targeted ways and to create new revenue streams.


Getting a return on investment

Our research suggests the link between change readiness and competitive advantage is linear, so the more change ready your business becomes, the more likely it is to perform better and achieve stronger growth. For example, only 32 per cent of organisations with low change readiness scores are good performers, but that figure rises to 43 per cent for businesses with average scores, and 58 per cent for change leaders.


But where do you begin? I recommend you explore our Change Readiness Assessment Tool to determine your organisation’s score and the next steps to becoming a change-ready business.


All view expressed are the author's own.