Change is inevitable, in the sense that nothing including the organisations is static, since it will ones in its lifetime have to face changes that will be to its benefit. Many organizations have in the past and present, and in the near future introduce new mechanisms of operation. This may have been influenced by or just as a strategy to deal with any perceived form of competition through advancement of growth capacity. Furthermore, an explosion in technological advancements have made production or processing in organizations very easy. This prompts for adoption of new mechanisms of that are cheaper and can maximum profit at any time. Change is an important part of any organization that considers itself as competitive and updated. This is because the world is so dynamic that one system that may be considered as the best but unfortunately by tomorrow it may be out dated or even the worst option written off. Therefore, an organization can be coerced to adopt new measures and strategies. This has to be handled with care as people react differently in relation to organizational changes, some may reject it (Paton, and et al., 2008 p 11-12), while others await its implementation with eagerness. This is because of the already preconceived ideas towards the job values, responsibility level and their experience, and speculation associated with the change.
This assignment is divided into two parts. The first part outlines my primary ideas in relation to the subject of change management. This expresses my views prior to attending the course of change management. In brevity I would look at some change management models, theories, and change assessment tools studied and applied during the group case study analysis. In the second part I will outline how the knowledge gained about change management has assisted me The approach I used to have was that change management was that it involved “planning, controlling, organising and coordination” (palmer et al, 2009 p24) were very important to facilitate profitability of an organisation. Therefore element of objection and resistance internally or externally were things I viewed as impossibilities. In the event of resistance, it was considered as means of survival for the weak employees and therefore measures were in place or developed instantaneously to curb any form of rebellion. This is not case as resistance should be accepted and considered or evaluated (Paton, and et al., 2008 p 52). The cause of rebellion can be positively used to assess whether there is or may be -in future- a weakness in the change supposedly being introduced.
Traditional view of change management
In the beginning of the semester, I had the perspective that change is non-beneficial as mostly it brings strikes and demonstrations of either of the involved parties. The already laid out structures were enough and sufficient if used appropriately, but in most case it was to the contrary. This was greatly brought about by the setting and the background of younger years whereby the afro- American had no rights, as per the existing regulations, and thus had to participate in such so as to fight for the changes they wanted. This subject has greatly has shown me a different subject perception to change.
Over the semester through appreciation of change management activities, I have come to realise that the introduction of new measures and strategy may interfere with the psychology of the employees. This was projected by the levels of production drop by the bunch of employees that are struggling with internalizing the change in workplaces. The employees, with the mentality of failure that is change is meant for their dismissal from their work, may attempt to resist the newly introduced measures that an organization has proposed. This is mainly because introduction of new measures and strategy may interfere with the psychology of the employees. This is projected by levels of production drop by the bunch of employees that are struggling with internalizing the change in workplaces. The employees, with the mentality of failure, may attempt to resist the newly introduced measures that an organization has proposed (Sharma 2006 pp. 18-20).
Secondly, I had the assumption that change is introduced and then monitored, but I had no idea of the diversity of change management. Change management is a very broad from the time of unfreezing whereby organisation helps its employees see and understand the reason for the planned change (Beerel, 2009). This is mainly done through the change agents, and it is of advantage having the change agent as a manager. After which the change planned is introduced in the change phase of the phases of change management and relationships or the organisational structure is rearranged to effectively effect the changes. Finally the unfreeze phase where changes so introduced are reinforced and new organisational culture established during this stage. I have come to appreciate different models of change management, which have enlightened me more concerning the different perspectives and strategies employed by managers to bring about change and monitor it to the end.
I have come to learn of the two different classification of change which are the first-order and second order. First order changes revolves around changes effected to the structure and system of an organisation, and the other being second-order type of change, which relates to changes that transforms the institution or organisation significantly. This assists in making good judgement of the type of changes anticipated for example now I can comfortably with factual knowledge classify the change in Apple Inc. as a first-order change since it was having effect on the systems of the company rather than the entire company. I have come to appreciate that change management is affected by several factors, which can be divided into organisational factors and environmental factors. Organisation factors are mainly considered to internal since they relate to the factors within an organisation like the management and organisation culture, which may hamper with the change initiative (Zaccaro and Banks, 2004). On the other hand, the environmental factors like government policies that may discourage change, the effects of the cyclic nature of the forces of demand and supply, and globalization. For instance, in case of globalisation a company in question may be intending to make its operation global. The process of change is not a short-term objective. This is due to the cost in terms of work force and facilities required to execute the change.. Moreover, most of the changes takes two to three years to take effect, thus if the change implementation was in the short term then it would amount to failure in its implementation. Change agents should have a long-term objectivity in mind while planning how to undertake the process of change in any given organisation.
In the process of introducing a form of change in any organization, proper communication has to be considered since it may be hard for the management to effect a change without communicating with the target group (people whom the change will affect after implementation). Communication strategy has a direct consequence on the psychology of an individual, for example whether they will accept or reject the proposed changes). This therefore determines the level, or how much, of change will be received and successfully be implemented (Goodman and Truss, 2004). There has to an effective mode of communication within the organisation as it helps to acculturate or assimilate the change and reduce resistance to change. It was observed that after some time, with proper change management and not mere passing of information most of the employees usually adjust to the new conditions hence the smooth flow of work.
Future approach to change management
I have been to be able to understand the huge difference between leadership and management in change management in any organization. For example leader creates vision while managers implement the vision. Leaders directly deal with the personnel in view towards the proposed change whereas the management is more focused on the processes and systems of an organization. Therefore, this makes an organization’s leadership and management distinct yet change cannot be realized if the two are in isolation (Kotter, 1999:51). Though there is a slim difference in the two, very few organizations have change managers who are actually leaders.
Resistance towards change shows that the staffs actually have the message across. Although from the negative aspect this resistance it implies that there is a possibility of the change being introduced into an institution will have opposition during its implementation period. Dealing with the status quo in the mind-set of individuals is not an easy task. Therefore A leader has to formulate a means of maintaining discipline and reducing opposition. This assists a leader to be in a position to handle and influence the people to accept changes and be part of it (Paton, and et al., 2008 p 11, 52).
A leader has to instil the sense of urgency as to why the changes are necessary. He has the responsibility of making a psychological impact on the employees. This is done by justification, people need to shown that moving ahead to adopt the new change far much out do the being in the same position that they are. They therefore will respond to the change as an opportunity as opposed to be a burden.
I have learnt as a director that for any change to occur successfully leadership rather just merely management has to be carefully incorporated into the change mechanism. There are different types of people in an organization that influence how the change and transformational process occur (Armenakis and Harris 2004). These people can be classified as victims of change, bystanders, critics or change navigators depending on how they respond to the introduced changes, thus they can derail or hasten the whole process of change implementation.
A leader should be in a position to make allies. I have come to an understanding that, these allies are not necessary decision makers but can influence the formation of positive teams and ground monitoring personnel. Therefore through proper leadership the aspect of inclusive team building based upon the objectives of the change and transformation process are properly implemented. This can only be achieved if the person in charge of the leadership team knows the subjects underhand. Moreover, it not only change that affects teams but also organized teams can be can be used as a source of change.
In addition, it is clear that a leader should be in a position to reshuffle or re-designate various roles and responsibilities of the personnel depending on their strength and weaknesses, and opportunities at any given time. The main intention is being in touch with the subjects. This reduces workload and frustration that may arise in the course of change implementation i.e. elimination of any cause of resistance to change.
The most outstanding items in any implementation of change to an organization, is how information is passed across. I have learnt that communication is not just passing notes or orders on how things are supposed to be done but the adoption of organization dialogue (Karp, 2005). This allows continuous exchange of ideas between the director and the employees, allowing employees to fully express themselves on how the perceive the change (Levasseur, 2001). This is very useful as it pinpoints out the weakness in the change implementation process. This has prompted me to understand that a change beneficial to an organization but may be in conflict with or harmful to the employees. For example, some changes may involve excessive workload to the employees; this may end up making some talented employees quit due to this type of pressure even though the changes could be earning the business lots of profits.
The process of communication should also involve explaining the various areas of difficulty and convincing the personnel and the board at large from time to time on the planned or ongoing change. This helps eliminate the negative cycle of
It responsibility of leaders to clearly define the vision of the change intended. This vision has to be based on an undertaken research. He has to clearly tell the personnel the areas they need to handle and how they are supposed to handle. Therefore proper communication is necessary in defining the benefits and methodology of the of the change
It is very clear to me that change implementation requires a director to understand the key components that are necessary for creating a learning environment. Learning does not only involve training of people to gain knowledge but also coaching. This is meant to guide how the change mechanism has to take place, explain the importance of the undertaken change procedures and instil motivation to the staff.
Through the course, I have come to understand that as a director responsibility is not just about getting result with new changes that are proposed. There has to be a stepwise mechanism that has to be used to assess the level of change achieved before the final outcome of the endeavour is accomplished. There are many means of achieving this, the Hewitt approach allows not only means of measuring the effectively of change but also the success of the change process (Lloyd, Bell, 2005). Moreover it considers means of doing some readjustments for the already laid out strategy depending on the challenges at hand that employees’ perception on workplace and its leadership.
The leader has to make up follow up activities in order to ensure that each and every detail of the plan is in check. This forms a means of monitoring transition by the leader. He is kept updated on any little changes and progress made in plan. Therefore there is easy evaluation on any significant performance.
The leader has to come up with short-timed targets. This takes care of the critics and faint hearted employees that with marginal achievement would oppose the whole project. Short timed targets are easily achievable, and any progress made should be institutionalized and made part of the daily operation.
The benefits of knowing how change management is not to establish how new changes affect himself but also how it affects other people within an organization. The discussion paper and the case study have been very beneficial and an eye opener to the practical aspect of change management. They have in one way or the other contributed to my understanding of the subject better. Many different procedures and tactics of change management have been discussed and well analysed, which have equipped every student with the required skills to face and handle any task involving introduction of changes. The change process i.e. the steps followed to effectively bring about change in any set up have also been elaborated further, and the different change models like the Jicks, Gorvin and Kotter models. This has greatly contributed to enlighten me on the subject matter through appreciating the different views especially the traditional views of change versus the current view of change. Personally, I have a strong believe that, the study of the six-image framework was an inspiration and a guide to the best there is of procedure one can apply to effectively bring about and monitor its progress.
From the group study it is also important to note that for one to be an effective change agent , it calls for one to be in authority, be flexible, knowledgeable about change management, open minded to the different ideas, grievances from the opposes and finally a person who can inspire people to follow a certain course. This implies that a lead has less tough path towards change introduction in an institution compared to a non-leader. I have the opinion that the biggest hindrance with all the change models is the ability to understand the knowledge in them so that one can take the best decision or if on the course of failing to bring about change, and to take the corrective action to solve the problem at hand amicably.
Personally under the subject about managing change, is that through its study that has prompted I to be more flexible and open minded about change. This is simply done by attempting to understand the various perspectives that all stakeholders have pertaining to change. It has really shaped and influenced my life positively in that I will and hope to effectively come up with changes in my lifestyle and the way I relate with people. This is because I have learnt the how to bring them about. Thus in conclusion change is here to stay and it’s for us to experience growth, learn our strengths, weakness and take the corrective action to turn it into strength.
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