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Change management in an organization is the change that focuses on people. It is made up of processes, tools, and specific methods that focus on managing people to achieve certain desired ends. The goal of any change management is usually to aid employees to function better, familiarize, adopt, and affect the change in the workplace. The success of any change management process is heavily reliant on how everyone embraces the change. As such, people are crucial in any change management process.
The change management process can be regarded as a process, as well as a competency. In the process aspect, it entails various steps that employees ought to follow or adhere to. The goal is to help the individual through the various steps to realize the change (Galbraith, 1995). There are three basic phases involved: 1) preparation for the change, 2) management of the change; 3) reinforcement of the change.
On the other hand, competency in change management refers to the leader’s ability or capacity to successfully and effectively steer every stakeholder through the change process. It mostly depends on what relationship the leader has with the anticipated change. For instance, senior leaders are required to be effective in pushing for the change, while at the same time showing unwavering commitment to it (Galbraith, 1995). Supervisors at the front line are required to use their journey in the coaching of the different change demands.
Suffice it to say, that change management is more than communication and training. Further, it involves more than the management of any resistance. It has to go through a well-structured process and entails a number of tools. The combination of the two helps to achieve success in the desired individual or organizational change.
Types of Organization Change
Adaptive changes are changes that occur in small bits. Further, they involve minute adjustments made by the organization to accustom to the challenges that arise on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The existing systems or processes are fine-tuned without necessarily interfering with the whole organization (French & Bell, 1999). It could involve integrating a new payment plan for online customers, modifying the company’s website, hiring a new employee when a sudden vacancy arises, etc. To realize success in adaptive changes, the managers have to steer the change process themselves and maintain control of it up to the end.
They ought to comprehend the importance and necessity of the small adaptations while seeing the ultimate goal. After that, they ought to convince the employees as well as the key stakeholders that, while the change seems small, it shall be an advantage to the whole organization. Eventually, they ought to have a proven method within the planning, implementation, and review of the entire process occurs.
Compared to the adaptive change, transformational change is grander and more dramatic. It occurs suddenly and is often a drastic response to a big challenge being faced by the organization. It could impact the organization’s strategy, culture, structure, chain of supply, etc. examples of transformational change include the conversion of a brick-and, mortar setup into e-commerce, designing the organization’s website, the introduction of a new department, etc. afresh.
As previously mentioned, its need is initiated by massive external factors. Unlike adaptive changes which need the managers to employ methodology and analysis, transformational change requires managers to be effective persuaders and committed visionaries (Judson, 1991). As such, they face the task of steering the employees to share a similar belief in what the change is offering, as well as provide the motivation that would contribute directly towards success.
The bigger percentage of change constantly witnessed is categorized under adaptive or transformational change. However, in order to successfully manage organizational change, it is prudent to have a grasp of all that is neither regarded as adaptive change or transformational change.
For instance, during the growth of an organization or business, some of the changes experienced could either be predictable or incremental. They could also be transformative. Usually, most startup businesses transition to mature business, i.e., informal to formal transitions. The business strategy may remain the same, but most of the effort will be needed to see out the effective transition.
It is, therefore, prudent for the managers to strike a balance between the methodology and the vision. The transition may not be as drastic as witnessed in transformational changes. However, the employees need to be enlightened on the impending changes (Kotter, 1995). They also need to be motivated and pushed to embrace the changes.
The Relevance of Models for Diagnosing and Understanding Organizations
The diagnosis and evaluation of an organization could present a wide range of data. The vast range of data could prove overwhelming and confusing. As such, the analysis ought to be done under a framework within which the data obtained can be sieved to determine what is important and what is not. After that, appropriate judgment or determination can be made from the information collected.
As such, the relevance of diagnostic models includes: 1) they offer insight on the expected operational or functional standards of the organization, including the best practices or excellence standards; 2) they suggest various data that ought to be collected for the purposes of comparing the existing standards vis-à-vis the intended performance standards; 3) they help generate suggestions on how to improve the efficiency and productivity of the organization through comparisons of the actual performances against the preferred performances.
There are different types of organizational diagnostic models. They include the balanced scorecard, benchmarking, business process reengineering, quality management, cultural change, knowledge management, learning organization, management by objectives (MBO), outcome-based evaluation, program evaluation, strategic planning, systems-based model to diagnose for-profit organizations, systems-based model to diagnose nonprofit organizations, total quality management (TQM), etc.
An Overview of the Process Recommended for Managing the Overall Change
The process recommended for the change is adaptive change. As discussed above, it entails making small, progressive changes while seeking to arrive at an ultimate goal. The goal is to realize change without necessarily upsetting the functioning of the entire organization. Ultimately, the adaptive changes could cumulatively contribute towards a rebuild of the entire organization, bringing a different perspective to the job descriptions, increased revenue streams for the organization, etc.
With the evolution and emergence of markets as well as new technologies, it is important to have managers capable of constantly providing solutions to challenges as they arise. Consequently, such organizations definitely realize growth in value, as they are always at par or ahead of the competition.
Methods of Creating a Suitably Adaptive Organizational Culture
There are several ways through which an adaptive organizational culture can be created. They include: 1) the manager has to establish or create a general sense for the need for change- this could be done through the creation of a sense of looming crisis; 2) there has to be constant and effective communication between the managers and employees; 3) insisting on the importance and need for innovation; 4) showing an outsiders’ affinity towards accepting the change; 5) maintaining the credibility of the internal stakeholders (Litwin & Stringer, 1968); 6) involving everyone in the process of decision making- this could be done through it decentralization; 7) promotions and demotions should be handled carefully and strategically; 8) the leaders should adopt and operate with the mindsets of servant leaders; 9) instilling the trust in the ability of the leader to bring about change at whatsoever level.
Leadership’s Role in the Change Management Process
All employees often look up to the leaders during any change management process. They do so when seeking clarity, to establish a connection, or for accountability. Leaders, therefore, have to be strong and committed enough lest they serve as bad examples to the others.
Leaders need to adopt a strong change management mentality, as well as the requisite skills to communicate efficiently and implement the change effectively (Reardon & Reardon, 1998). Otherwise, one is bound to experience a lot of difficulty during the change management process. Further, leaders ought to take full control of the entire process, and in doing so, prove to the employees that they are in control of the situation. Doing so enables them to have clarity in the organization’s vision and to convince everyone else to believe in the same idea.
The leaders have to remain connected to and with the employees. Such a connection gives them an easier time in elaborating the vision, as well as getting support. Leaders are often looked up to, and they ought to try as much as possible to be approachable and transparent. Furthermore, they must be the change they expect to see (Nelson & Burns, 1984). As such, they are required to lead from the front, show commitment, and remain motivated the entire time.
It is important to get feedback and responses from the employees over the concerns they may have regarding the entire process. As such, the leader ought to constantly enquire from them regarding the same. They are also required to communicate key information to the employees constantly. Finally, involving all the employees in the implementation of the initiative is fundamental.
What Leadership Can Expect When the Change Process is Underway
It is difficult to manage change. First, in organizations with different managerial structures, it is almost always impossible to have an agreement on the desired transformative changes. Everyone often seems to have their own idea of what to do and how to go about it. Further, for setups that have existed as they are for a long time, it is difficult to have acceptance or an embrace of the change by the employees as they feel that the existing balance will be upset. Some of the attitudes, behaviors, or relationships are usually too deeply rooted.
It is clear that resistance or failure to corporate by employees or other key stakeholders is the major stumbling block towards the realization of any success in the change management process (McLean, 2006). As such, it is crucial that everyone feels involved at every stage in the change management. Further, their opinion or input should be considered rather than disregarded in entirety.
Summary of the Benefits of Following the Recommended Process
The process guarantees success when planned meticulously and managed appropriately. Some of the benefits include: 1) it allows one to analyze and establish the importance of the change; 2) it enables the manager to synchronize the available resources vis-à-vis the demands of the change; 3) allows for the management of the different costs of change; 4) since planning is done prior to implementations, there is a reduction in the amount of time required to facilitate the intended change; 5) it improves the harmony within the organization since staff is often fully included and consulted during the change process (Nanus, 1992); 6) provides an opportunity to enhance communication; 7) enhances cooperation and collaboration within the organization.
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