Managing Change in Organizations

Introduction

Change is happening al the time but it is not everyone who does embrace it. For a society, business or even an individual to advance, change has to occur. The biggest challenge is how one or the organization is going to manage the risks that are associated with change. If change does not take place as planned it can in most of the instances cause problems in a business that can result to major financial losses.

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Change management team ought to work very closely with the rest of the members in the organization if success will be felt (Broekhuis, 2003). Change is the intentional process of moving from one defined state into another state. The goal of having a change management program is to make sure that the laid out standard process is strictly followed so as to have a timely as well as efficient implementation of the change and at the same time minimize the negative effects that the change may have on the entire business (Cameron, and Green, 2004).

The new technologies that are coming up in the wake if globalization are also bringing new challenges as well as risks too the organization. Most of the new approaches available to risk management are in most instances interchangeable with the ability to sustain an issue (Belz, 1997). For a business to be maintained on long-term basis, it requires that large risks are identified long in advance and the potential impact they might have on the business in the future well understood. It is a key management strategy to have the management of the risks integrated in to the overall strategy of the organization (Collerette, 2001).

The major problem however with most of the organization is that much of the pressures that the organization finds itself in requires some form of reaction that is often beyond the grasp of the management and thus the widely publicized change management tools fail to be applicable in most of these situation. Any change in an organization ought to be discussed in the context of the risk that it is aimed at averting and this can be in the social, economic or environmental arenas of the company (Cameron, and Green, 2004).

Changes in Business

Most of the changes seen in the modern business transformations are in one way or another associated with some form of external pressures. These types of pressures may generally be understood as the force driving towards change and is associated with certain global phenomena. The step by step and the revolution type of approach are some of the highly common proposals for managing change. There happens not to be any one type of change that singled out as the perfect one for every business (Cameron, and Green, 2004).

Globalization has caused a change of concern for most of the businesses from the usual local type of risks to the global once (Broekhuis, 2003). This global type of risks form what is generally termed as mega risk that are unfortunately not anticipated in most of the instances. They thus ought to be addressed together as one using a systematic type of approach since they cannot be isolated (Belz, 1997).

There are three best practices of implementing change;

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Recognizing the scope of the change

It is not every other minor change in the organization that should be entered in the formal management process. The scope of the changes which will controlled by the change management process should thus be well laid out (Senior, 1997). It is the size of the organization, the importance of the change as well as the budget for change that will help in clearly defining the scope (Clark, 1994).

Project management

The success of the change management simply depends on how well the management team follows good project management tools.

Communication

To most of the members in an organization, change can be regarded as a bother and therefore one that ought to be avoided. It is therefore very important to very clearly communicate to the organization members how this change will be implemented and the positive changes expected once a successful implementation is in place (Carnall, 2003).

Implementing Change Management

The first reaction that is often experienced by those trying to implement change in an organization is resistance. Those implementing a change program therefore ought to stay on point consistently reminding the rest of the members why the process is that important (Lee, 1999). Reminding the rest of the organization member about the larger goals will definitely be of great help in trying to ease the resistance.

Since the early 1980s, the total quality management (TQM) tool was one of the most commonly use tool in managing change (Senior, 1997). The tradition management approach that is characterized with maintaining control, assurance and high quality does tell much about the relation of quality function to the external pressures (Collerette, 2001). The various trends in change management ought to be explained in more details as follows;

  1. Quality in form of quantitative factors that seeks to emphasize the products qualitative factors.
  2. Changing focus from the final product to the processes and tasks quality.

The main concern of quality management therefore is to achieve business excellence. Towards the end of the past century, there have been several developments that have taken place and some which have greatly affected the manner in which change can be implemented in any organization (Mccalma and Paton, 2004). First, there has been a rapid growth of IT sector, globalization as well as the formation of various stakeholders’ groups.

All economic sectors therefore have to adjust and accept new principles that came as a result of these new changes (Clark, 1994). It has often been noticed that part of these pressures that various organizations have been required to adjust to have been beyond the potentials of the management team. A sustainable business approach will be one that is always in a position to identify mega risks and understand their potential harmful effect on the business (Garvare, 2001).

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The systematic approach to the management of ecological and social risks is rarely seen as a source of a good competitive advantage (Carnall, 2003). Due to the recent globalization of businesses and markets, the environment turns out to be one of the key components of business. TQM has over time enabled the implementation and success of quality management practices from the usual operational to the strategic level. Sustainability of a business or an organization remains to be part of TQM evolution since sustainability is the ability of a business to adapt well to changes in the business environment while at the same time capturing the contemporary best practices and maintaining the competitive performance (Mccalma,. and Paton, 2004).

From a wider perspective, mega risks remains to be mega trends that can impact on the society, environment, human health as well as in the business sector in a significant way. Sources of these type of risks maybe from the social, natural events, political actions or from the technological developments that could be happening far away from the location of the company or business but significant impact on the business (Clark, 1994).

Failing to realize these type of risks in advance blocks the chances of implementing appropriate changes that would see the incorporation of changes that may avert a dangerous situation for the business. The corporate sector is faced by such mega risks as political upheavals, environmental pressures as well as cross border litigation. Though it is well appreciated that most of the business risks have local origins, in most instances, their impact turns out to be global. They are thus too complex and too large to be adequately managed by one stakeholder (Burnes, 2004).

These type of new mega risks that call forth for a new way of management are often magnified by the IT that has enabled the global communication (Darwin, et al., 2002). Corporations, businesses, nations and governments can thus be able to easily scrutinize each other besides being in a good position to share vital information. Unfortunately, a corporate reputation may easily be destroyed in just but a matter of days due to the globalization of business (Garvare, 2001).

The stakeholders in any organization provide the necessary support that is required to safeguard the future of that organization. These are either individuals or a group of people that have interest in a particular decision of an organization. With this kind of new challenges that are threatening the success of many business, the management team remains with no option but to apply the compliance risk management (Kotter, 1996).

Compliance risk is the risk of financial loss, regulatory sanctions or even the loss of reputation that an organization may suffer due to its inability to comply with all of the applicable regulations, laws, standards of good practice and codes of conduct. This is also the integrity risk since an organization’s reputation is in most cases closely related to its adherence to the principles of fair dealing and integrity (Darwin, et al., 2002).

Compliance with the established rules, laws and standards helps in maintaining an organizations reputation and thus more easily meet their customers’ expectation as well as those form the society and market as a whole (Ames, 1996). It is on this regard that compliance risk management has been formalized in the past few years to help companies cope with the emerging global risks (Burnes, 2004).

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Change depends with the organizational context and there is no such as a common approach for all the organizations. The exact approach that is chosen by different management teams in various countries depends on various factors such as sophistication, size, geographical coverage of their business as well as the nature of the business (Balogun, and Hailey, 2004). There is a complex web of laws, regulations and codes that govern organizations and it is often thus the duty of the management bodies to make sure that the business internalization process leads to the full compliance (Ames, 1996). For a change management program to be effective, there are certain important steps that can help in making it be successful and overcome most of the challenges that come along with it.

Classification

Since every type of change is different from the other, the handling should also be in respect to the type of change. The various classifications that can be assigned to changes may include; high, medium, and emergency, or security, support or the infrastructure type of changes. At this level, it would be most appropriate to clearly define a classification scheme that has a unique policy set for each of the major classes of change so as to effectively manage the different categories of change (James, 1993).

Dealing with emergencies

Though some changes can be classified as emergencies, others are not and it is thus most appropriate for the change management team to clearly differentiate this. The change management program would soon be overrun if everything was to be treated as an emergency. At the same time, failing to effectively and quickly deal with real emergencies may result into the organization being exposed to long period of risk (Kotter, 1996).

Using technology

Though change management is mainly about a process as well as the effective management of this, there is need to make use of some form of technology to so as to make the process of following up on the change more easier (Hughes, 2006). The chosen technology ought to be purely dependent on the type of change that is being implemented and the change management program team are charged with this decision. The true needs of the organization ought to be clearly defined so as to help in selecting the most appropriate technology to use (Darwin, et al., 2002).

Link to configuration management

Most people believe that both the change management and configuration are linked and should thus be handled together. Most of the change management programs mainly focus on understanding the impact that change has on the entire organization and most can be easily achieved through configuration management processes. Having a strong link to the configuration management does help the process of change to be more effective (Kanter, 1983).

Change advisory board

This is a board of the business personnel that reviews and approves the proposed changes. This body is charged with the responsibility of assessing the risks as well as the business impacts that the changes are likely to bring. These kind of reviews are also important since they help in understanding business concerns and priorities thus taking only the most appropriate actions (Doherty, and Horne, 2002).

Business process fusion

This process that requires such management principles as mainly focusing on collaborative governance mechanisms, processes and practices makes it easier for businesses to change (Hughes, 2006). It also does streamline certain operational processes and thus help in this regard to reduce costs and delays as well as enhance customer service. Business process fusion is one of the strategies that should be employed to ease the flow of data and thus ease the work of the management (Kanter, 1983).

Since business process fusion is aimed at transforming systems and processes that are aimed at supporting a major business initiative, it is highly important to have a good management program that sees the successful implementation of this process. Most of these kind of initiatives are challenging and thus require the full commitment to the business goals as well as to the changes needed from the high level managers (Balogun, and Hailey, 2004).

Though service providers and enterprises develop a wide range of relationship with varying roles and divisions of responsibilities, the reconfiguration of various business processes that is implied in the business process fusion creates additional combinations that depend on the degree of fusion (James, 1993).

Conclusion

Total qualitative management of change needs to be implemented in the context of the transformations that have been taking place in the organization and as per the need of the business. The most reasonable type of change management should be one that incorporates those type of approaches that can be sustained and one that best fit the organization or business in question. There cannot be one remedy or approach for all types of businesses as every business has its own unique needs. Most of the transformations that have been taking place in organizations are associated with external pressures which are generally pressures for change that are associated with certain global phenomena (Doherty, and Horne, 2002).

These external pressure can easily be identified though the various activities of stake holders. There is need to rethink the traditional approaches to risk management or the implementation of change so as to adopt the most comprehensive strategies available.

Since various risk spell different levels of danger and thus demand most appropriate changes to avert them, there is need for every business to take a holistic approach towards risk management and the eventual introduction of those changes that will see the business survive future and current challenges (Hughes, 2006). Since most of the risks are interrelated as well as highly complex, there is need for organizations to engage and collaborate with their stakeholders in implementing changes that will see them not only accurately assess them but also share and manage these risks.

Reference:

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