Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher said 2500 years ago “The only constant is change” and this is universal truth even after 25 centuries. Like all chapters of life and world organizations also change themselves for better and effective productivity and to attain their short term and long term goals. Organization undergo the process of evolution to survive against the challenges of modern and dynamic world.
Change in the organizations may vary from planned to unplanned, incremental to transformational and from very simple to very complex. However, how much an organizational revolution complicated is, it is not an Enigma to decode but can be managed.
In the recent two centuries industries, organizations and their environment drastically along with the revolution of the world. In these years many theories by the management experts have emerged to cope up with the implementation of change within the organization.
In the coming few paragraph, we will discuss in details in circumstances those causes the change and those are caused by the change. How to tackle with barriers against change and some ideas of management and change gurus are discussed in details.
Change is ongoing process in modern world. Organizations set plans to change process, strategy or technology. Reasons of change can be classified among environmental and internal factors of change. Let discuss them in detail.
Everything outside the organization is environment. These factors are classified into multiple types by different writers. Some of them are given below:
Name of this analysis also changes with a time. This analysis is also known as SLEPT, PEST, STEEP etc. Most recent form of it is PESTEL. It consist of five factors. These factors are Political, Economic, Social and cultural, Technological, Ecological and Legal.
• Political factors includes political government, stability, Continuity of policies, tax laws etc. It deal with the political situation in a country. Inconsistency of policies, political instability and regressive taxation leads corporate organizations to change their strategies and methods.
• Economic factors relates with economic situation of country, which includes GDP, GNP, Total income and inflation in a country. Economic growth and recession both leads toward change in policies and strategies of organization. Multinational organizations define their policies in geographical locations with respect to economic situation.
• Social and cultural factors relate with the social and cultural behaviors of society. Business of organizations are if against the social and cultural values of people, those entities cannot achieve higher targets in these areas.
• Technological factors deals with change in status of technology. Advancement of AI and robotics has change the art of doing business. Online marts, transport companies etc. has obsolete traditional ways of business.
• Ecological factors relates with ecosystem of organization. Environmental policies shift had effect many entities like Plastic bags manufacturing organizations. Environmental factors force organization to change its strategies with environmental policy.
• Legal factors include legislation of area. Business of imports cannot be fruitful in a country where Legislations are made to reduce and cut down import volume. Some writers merge legal factors with economic factors.
Market is a reason of unplanned and planned change. Change in market is a forcing factor for change in organizations. Online car booking services has made traditional ways obsolete. Advancement of IT has change the markets. If organization did not change its style of business with change in market would lead it toward liquidation. Competition among different players also leads entities to change their products with the changing dynamics of market. Mergers and acquit ions are reasons of change in the strategies.
Customer’s relationship management is a one off the most important element in growth and success of an entity. Change of customers, their necessities and desires requires entities to change their products with the demand of customers. COVID19 is a recent example of it. Demand of customers has forced pharmaceutical entities to change their production capacities.
Source of finance has major role in decision making of organization. Modern organization uses complex capital structure to generate funds. Financial arrangements give powers to creditors and lenders, which would result into change in organization.
Change can also be caused by the internal reasons of organization. These reasons are multiple in number. Some of them are discussed are here:
Change in the management of entity is a main reason of change in modern organization. Most of the times, new management try to run the organization in new way. They replace their traditional methods or techniques with new methods in order to cope up with modern day challenges.
Culture of organization is also a factor of change in organizations. Large organizations have ongoing process of change at regular interval after specific period of time. This technique lead toward updated methods, which would eventually contribute toward growth and development of entity.
Organizations improve the technical skills of their employees to generate efficiency, effectiveness and economy. Performance of labor some time cause change in organization. Learning curve concept explain that with the passage of time, time frame to do the task decrease with the repetition of tasks up to certain level. This give rise to change skills of labor in such a way that learning curve application remain continue.
Dynamics of organizations are different in different industries. Change is also dependent upon nature of business. Circumstances of accounting firm cannot be same as of trading entity. Highly changing business requires entity to change its strategies and tools at fast pace.
Organizational structure and hierarchy is also a factor of change in organizations. Complex and ineffective structure most of the time result into change in organization. Structure of organization is directly link with operating efficiency and effectiveness.
Ethical values and attitudes of organizations also contribute toward change in their policies and procedures. Multiple entities have change their values from generating higher profits to customer’s satisfaction. Change in values and ethics is not limited to their policies, goodwill of entities are dependent on their values.
Impacts of change are dependent upon the nature and size of change. However, change is considered as a source of improvement, growth and development in an organization. Huge cost would be paid by organization, employees and stakeholders. Change lead toward change in operating process, which would also lead to change in human resource. Change has also strong impacts upon profitability of organization. Change in management, ownership and corporate strategies has impacts on all stakeholders of organization. Stakeholders includes owners, employees, customers, lenders and general public.
In order to implement and manage change it is important to avoid irrelevant methods and converge focus on suitable action plan to implement effective change without wasting time and resources. Change management is a long ongoing process and require involvement of leadership, people working for the company and people effected by the change. Change requires efforts expertise and dedication to manage it. Before implementing change management must critically analyze type of change its causes and effects. The following are some strategies for effective and productive change management.
Kurt Lewin, social scientist and physicist designed “Kurt management model” back in 1947 and it is still practicable. This models resembles change phases with states of block of ice. This model consist of three phases. Unfreeze process require to prepare people for the change because it’s difficult to implement change when employees are resistant to change. Change is the real transition phase and must be implemented by the leadership and management wisely. Freeze is the process after change implementation and making organization stable with the Changed procedure and policies.
In 1980s, consultants working for McKinsey & Company devised this model to implement changes in organization step by step. This is most persistent method since then even when others are obsolete. 7 stages of this models may be segregated in hard and soft factors. Hard factors include strategy, structure and system and soft factors include staff, skills, styles and shared values. These 7 factors defines directional structure to organizational change. This model offers deep insight into how an organization is working and how change can be implemented effectively in that organization.
Management of successful change requires a commitment from executive leadership and higher level of management, whether change is processed in one department or whole organization. Mangers and executive leadership have authority over people going through the process of change. Some major roles that a change leader plays during the process of change are as under;
Leader acts as advocate and represent ideas in front of peers. Being sponsor of idea he doesn’t lead the idea to die due to lack of attention.
Leader must be willing to change and go first on the path defined and employees follow the leader. Consistency in words and action of leader may lead to successful implementation of change.
During the change process leader being the decision maker has an important role. He is the person controlling all the resources and decide which resource will be economically utilized for effective change implantation. • Communicate: Leaders are voice and face of change sharing ideas, communicating and motivating peoples. Message from the boss is most authentic source of information.
Leaders involve people throughout the organization and also recognize the efforts of people to motivate them. Effective leaders recognize their role in the change and know they are only one who can initiate, manage and implement change.
While managing and implementing change, where effective strategies and role of leadership is crucial, the role of stakeholder cant neglected. For successful implementation of change, management of stakeholders is also important. Some reasons of stakeholder’s management are below;
• Asking the person stakeholder for their aspiration thoughts and fears to change may help to overcome their fear and win their support. • During the change process it is actually the people change their routine, actions, processes and behavior. Therefore, their involvement is crucial.
• Studying the stakeholders’ behaviors and examining their reactions to change in advance may help to reduce the pain during implementation of change.
Whether change is positive or negative involving people into change process and giving them confidence. Make them aware of advantages of change will help an organization to achieve sustainable and breakthrough change.
Individuals’ involvement in change management process is most crucial for successful implementation of change and resistant and obstinate employees are greatest barriers to change. In most of change implementation processes employees are resistant to change. According to Susan David, a leader must understand that human being fear everything they are unfamiliar with as threat. Change leaders must keep in mind that people are anxious while hearing about change. Change will cause orthodox employees a fear, sadness and loss. They will never consider themselves as beneficiaries but victims to change. And most common a leader makes is that they don’t judge that the employees are ready for change or not. Keeping in view all resistance and abstinence good managers involves their employees into change and decision making process. Here are few recommendations for managers to support individuals during change management process.
Employees who are adopting change must be awarded to encourage changing. Employees have a sense of achievement and empowerment and seek change as opportunity. Reward them for their change behaviors towards new policies and changes.
Employees must be encouraged to change under the coaching of expert guides. To take major part of change initiative their suggestions must be weighted and give them the feeling of involvement.
Employees must be continually trained against the changed procedures, making them ready for the change and seeing change as opportunity not as threat. Employees must be trained enough to be adaptable.
While implementing changes all the stakeholders must be actively involved and their suggestion and recommendation must be given proper weightage. This not only help to create adaptability but also encourage stakeholders to pay their cent per cent in change process.
Employees may fear that working condition after change implementation will be worst and may make them redundant. Give them confidence that changed working environment will make better their working conditions and their importance within organization.
Multiple methods are now a days used by entities to evaluate the application of change with the passage of time. Some of the major methods are are commonly used, which are given below:
Survey programs are launch by the organizations to check effectivity and applicability of change management. These give entity not only about application of change management but it also give feedback of different stakeholders about change. This is an independent evidence in it nature. Confidential data
Organizations hire audit firms for the accountability of management and employees. Internal audit is performed for the accountability of change management process. Firm gives report upon completion of exercise of internal audit, which is a valid evidence of change in an organization .This also enhances the data and information gather by the management about the change process if results of both are same.
Questionnaires are commonly used by the organization. Change management score is used in those questionnaires. Change dimensions are calculated to check application of change management of projects, Scores are assign to analyze the data calculated. Scorecards are form for this purpose to generate mathematical form of the data, illustrations and explanations of score indicates applicability and effectiveness of change process.
Observations on multiple steps across the change process are recorded and these observation are not only helpful in later stages of change process but these are also used in further change process, which would be helpful for strong change management and increase in efficiency, effectiveness and economy of the change process
If making change happen is important, making it stick and embed within organizational culture is more important. As discussed in earlier parts of report that employees are resistant to change and soon after change implementation they will convert them back to the path before the change. Almost every management guru discussed the methods of embedding change into the organization because all they fear the chances of diverting back. For these reason change leaders must not declare their victory too soon and must take steps to make sure that change will be long lasting. Here are some recommendation for embedding change into organization.
• Involvement of employees is most powerful factor of change implementation process. It is quite impossible for employees to quit if change is implemented according to their suggestion and desires.
•Change must be driven from top down to bottom up. All part of organization must be changed at once so that there are no chances of diverting back.
• Employees must be trained effectively making the changes procedures easy and attractive fir them. • Keenly look forward the change process and eliminate the steps that are not effective for change or effective change. Change management process must be carried out with good judgment, efficacy and precision.
• Leaders must carry out survey and ask employees how they are feeling about the change and how much change is implemented. Talking about change will make long lasting impacts in their minds about change.
• Award and encourage employees who are working with changed methods. These are few steps that can be carried out by the organization to stick change into organization. Keep in mind change is of no use if it is not long lasting. Only implementing change and not embedding is the waste of resources time and energy.
This is 21st century and managing change is not an enigma to decode today. We have strategies today by which we can deal with the changes. Today’s manger know when to change? How to change? What to change? In the last century and in this century we have seen robust changes in every chapter of life from world order to smallest organization cultures and procedure has changed towards positive. All these changes are not by chance but implemented through proper planning. Change is the only constant in the world and now it can be implemented according to our desire if implemented strategically.
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