Change management is a methodological approach to dealing with change both from the perception of an organization and the individual. Its a process in which various changes within an organization are handled to reduce and manage resistance or go-slows by the employees and other business stakeholders. It is an integral process in which all the members of the organization ought to be involved for all the business matters. It is the people-change part where one is expected to change the altitude of people towards the change in the organization.
Other definition: Change management is the application of a structured process and set of tools for leading the person identity towards change to achieve a desired outcome. (Prosci's)
Change management is not
It is not a one person order issue or strategy push issue. It is not the stress on organizational culture and rigid policies. Mostly some managers have misunderstood the meaning of change managing and instead looked at it as an organizational improvement process that can be tackled by a single individual in the business or by the management team.
Importance of change management (Why change management)
It is a crucial organizational competency that will enable a business to perform properly and also survive in the dynamic environment and fluctuating market structures.
Also it is a significant competence for any organizational performance improvement process and programs like Total Quality Management (TQM), Business Process Reengineering (BPR), organizational development, restructuring and continuous process improvement.
It requires individuals to change: all change being implemented in the organization can only be effected it the individuals working in the organizations change to new ways of new ways of working, adopt new management rules, adopt new technology and new production procedures. This can only be possible if the right change management programs are in place in the organization. Ideally, organizational outcomes are as a result of the collective individual change.
Other reasons There are other reasons for which the process of change management can be effected and these include, reduction in the cost incurred to effect change, , improved client fulfillment, improved product and service superiority, less exposure to risk among many others.
Where is change management required?
Change management is required in almost all parts of the organization especially where there are new strategies being introduced, where the production procedures have change, in instances where the organization is introducing new technology in the organization.
Readiness assessment test
Before the choice of a management strategy, the change management team must put into consideration various factors by carrying out a Readiness assessment test. These are procedures used to establish if a business at its particular stage is ready to take up the proposed change. This readiness is in terms of resources needed, amount of cost required, personnel competency and altitude towards the change. Factors to consider under this strategy include
The breadth, depth and general scope of the change to be undertaken
Urgency and time requirement of the change
Strength of the change management team
Available expertise of the employee team
Level of expected resistance
Change management strategies
Normative- reductive strategy
This strategy is built on an assumption that people are social and that they will always obey the cultural norms. This strategy entails the redefinition of the underlying norms and values and building the employees commitment to them. It is an assumption that people will swiftly change to the regulations of the organization as fast as they are developed. This strategy is gradual and cannot be used in situations of urgency.
Power coercive strategy
This strategy is based on the use of excessive authority and sanctions to ensure that the subordinate do exactly what is required of them. This ranges from an iron hand to downright brutality. The main purpose is to subordinate the individuals ideas below the organizations. The main factors that could lead to the selection of this idea could be the time required and the seriousness of the threat that the organization is facing in regard to this particular change required. This strategy is risky and should only be applied when the required change is very urgent and at the same time very risky.
Environmental adaptive strategy
This is applied where the personnel in the organization are resistant to change and oppose loss and disruption but, they adapt very fast to new circumstances. This strategy moves the burden of change from the top management to the subordinate employees. The main factors to be considered when effecting change here include the extent to which the change will impact. It is useful in circumstances when radical, transformative change is called for. When implementing this strategy, time is not a factor to consider.
Change management planning.
For the selected strategy to work properly and as outlined, the business the change management team ought to carry out a change planning process which involves laying down the implementation plan. These planning activities include:Communication and communication planning
Many managers assume that if they communicate clearly with their employees, their job is done. However, there are many reasons why employees may not hear or understand what their managers are saying the first time around. For communication planning to be effective it must start with careful analysis of audience, messages and time for those messages. The change management team or project leaders must design a communication plan that addresses the needs of front-line employees, supervisors and executives.
Coaching and manager training for change management
Supervisors will play a key role in managing change since they have more influence over the employees motivation to change than any other person at work. They can however be hard to convince on need for change and can thus be a source of resistance. Once managers and supervisors are on board, the change management team must prepare a coaching strategy. They will need to provide training for supervisors including how to use individual change management tools with their employees.
Training and training development
Training is the cornerstone for building knowledge about the change and the required skills. Project team members will develop training requirements based on the skills, knowledge and behaviors necessary to implement the change. These training requirements will be the starting point for the training group or the project team to develop training programs. Resistance management
Resistance from employees and managers is normal but persistent resistance, can threaten a change implementation. The change management team needs to understand, point out and manage resistance throughout the organization.
Examples of change management decisions:
Case 1: British Airways restructures its entire organization
The British Airways decided to hire a new chairperson in 1981. The chairperson realized that the firm was not making profits as a result of great inefficiencies and wastages of resources. As such, he came up with measures to restructure the company leading to layoffs.
What was done right?
The need for restructuring was announced to everyone before any layoffs were done. This was to make people ready for the imminent changes within the firm. The transparency ensured that there was no backlash from employees. Neither was there any negative press due to the layoffs. Frequent communication by the chairperson as well as honesty helped them manage change efficiently.
Facts: this case used the communication and communication planning one of the change management planning techniques.
Case 2: Truelocal
Truelocal needed to align itself with the parent companys culture in order to meet strategic growth goals not long after it was founded. They changed the organizational organization from the existent vertical, bureaucratic structure to a horizontal structure and also changed the specialist divisions creating a professional corporate environmental culture that was customer focused. This reduced the informal communication in the organization shifting focus on the clients. The management also employed skilled staff, retrained the existing staff and created procedures were put in place.
Effect: after current management was lifted, staff was left confused and upset. Afterwards they got used to the changes and the organizational strategy was lastly achieved.
Case 3: the Yahoo company hires another CEO
Yahoo brought in a new CEO who during her transition has developed the business operations of Yahoo from each and every angle. Among the improvements are inventory level raise and the increase in the quarterly revenue earnings. Despite the encounter of the resistance initially from the employees they have at last come into terms with their leader. Under her management, employees who had left Yahoo in the recent past were returning, and she reported that Yahoos workplace conditions and employee confidence in the company has been enhanced.
The secret: the CEO devoted many resources in the development and nurturing of talent and capability in the organization and satisfying the needs of the employees so that they could enjoy their working environment. In the year 2013 she made a report that there were more than five hundred establishments to motivate the employees among which was a newly introduced program to let employees examine its products. She knew the need for employee satisfaction. Exactly what was not there in Yahoo.
Change management is important and vital for the success of the organization. An organization has three main dimensions in which it would like to effect changes it would want to implement i.e. adapting, controlling and effecting change. It is the responsibility of the change management team to ensure that change is properly implemented and that proper assessment is done as to whether or not to apply the changes considering the factors discussed; time, cost, scope of the change and the expertise required. Also they should ensure that the proper strategy is applied and that there is a change management program and plan in the organization.
Questions from audience
ALM, E. (n.d.). http://searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/change-management. Retrieved 9 14, 2015, from Techtarget.
Harord L.S., Perry K. & Allan J. (2005). The Hard Side of Change Management. Powering effective decisions .
Krawfor, K. (2010). change management and change process: Case Study. academia.
Nickols, F. (2010). Four Change. Distance consulting LLC.
Prosci. (2007). Start with a solid change management strategy. Change management tutorial series .
Troyani, L. (2014). Examples Of OrganizationalL Change and why they got it right.
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