By the end of this lesson, you are expected to:
– Discover what is change management
– Learn about conditions and barriers for change success
– Understand the change management process
Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsSNMzgsE7U
– Reactively, by responding only when one has to, usually too late.
– Proactively, by planning for change and trying to keep, if not one step ahead, then at least in the vanguard of change.
Of course, there is a third option:
– ignore it and hope it will go away.
Change, however, happens. It is difficult and complex to manage, and even, sometimes, to understand for an organization.
At its most basic level, change is a movement out of a current state (how things are today), through a transition state and to a future state (how things will be). Change happens all around us – at home, in our community and at work. Changes can be internally motivated or externally motivated. It can be a dramatic departure from what we know or it can be minor. Changes can be anticipated or unexpected. But in all cases, the fundamental nature of change is a movement from the current state through a transition state to a future state.
A project or initiative in an organization is undertaken to give structure to the effort of designing the future state and developing a solution for the transition state.
However, every organizational change ultimately has individual impacts – the 10s or 100s or 1000s of employees who have to do their jobs differently when they adopt the solution. This is the role of change management.
To make something different.
In business, change is influenced by, for example:
– New management
– New competition
– Price changes
– Consumer demand
Change management is necessary because organizational change – moving from an organizational current state to a future state – ultimately impacts how people do their jobs (likely many people).
While change is about moving to a future state, change management is about supporting individual employees impacted by the change through their own transitions – from their own current state to their own future state that has been created by the project or initiative.
The change management process we are going to discover has the following steps:
1. Preparing the change
2. Making change happen
Making It Happen
Making change happen involves moving an organization’s people, and culture, in line with an organization’s structure, processes, strategies and systems.
Such change is successful and delivers a long-lasting benefit to the organization!
This is what Change Management is all about.
Successful Change Management is about taking the people with you.
Unless the people in an organization – at all levels, from senior management to employees – are committed to the change, then it will fail. This is not an option and without this commitment, any project is doomed.
Make sure that your change programme is a SUCCESS by following these principles:
Understand the organization
Experienced help where necessary
A change programme will affect the way an organization works. Two factors must be considered before implementation:
– how an organisation operates; the change programme will almost certainly be counter cultural in some way.
– how people will receive the change and the actions they might take to resist it.
The two are inextricably linked.
A negative response to change is to be expected. Change is different and many people will be against it on principle, whatever it actually means for them.
Part of change management is identifying the reasons behind the negative response and planning to negate them or obviate them.
A negative response to change is similar to grieving for the loss of a loved one. The difference may be in the timing and the difficulty of accepting the change; but the emotional responses are the same, requiring step-handling to meet each of the changing emotions.
Even those in favour of the change – such as those starting a new job, those about to be married, those moving home and (for change managers) those on secondment to projects – will need managing to ensure that they do not succumb to pessimism as they move through the different phases.
Reactions will be different at each phase of the change programme:
Uninformed optimism: People are self-confident and positive towards the change.
Informed pessimism: People start exhibiting negative responses to change; lose confidence.
Hopeful realism: People start to see achievability of change; confidence starts growing.
Informed optimism: Confidence returns; people throw themselves into a project.
Completion: People help the rest of the organization; give out confidence.
Change is difficult. Before starting a change programme, it makes sense to assess just how difficult it will be to push through. The culture of an organization will affect the ability and speed to accept change because it is a way of life.
To change an organization, you must change the people, their beliefs and attitudes and their ways of working; this can be very difficult, especially in strong cultures and often in successful companies (no burning platform).
It is, therefore, important to understand the readiness of the organization and management to change.
Proactive: These organizations have dynamic management within unstable environments and need to keep one step ahead of the game; change is a way of life for them.
Reactive: These change only when they have to – usually in response to step change in competition and are continually fire-fighting/running to keep still. Change programmes are not usually well executed.
Average: These organizations change enough to keep up with the market – but are behind the leaders. Change is difficult but not impossible. Most organizations fit here.
Static: A static organization usually has a rigid hierarchical style of management which can lead to problems when suddenly the rules of the game change. Change here is extremely difficult to push through.
Change Management Framework
The key to successful change management is planning.
Planning means thinking through all the issues/problems that you might encounter, the steps necessary to deal with them and the choice of team that will be required. If this means getting external help, then do so.
Hereafter is a framework to help you in planning your change programme. This can be used for any programme no matter how large or small – the difference will be the extent of the resources and the complexity of the change.
● In this phase it is necessary to understand both the nature of the change and the organization’s culture and its capacity for change.
● This will involve carrying out surveys of staff and past projects, and reviewing the structure, strategy, management styles and how the firm interacts with the external environment.
● The output from this phase is an understanding of the organization as it relates to the project and a `map’ of the culture.
● This should enable you to plan to avoid the potential pitfalls which could arise in the next phase.
● Having assessed the change capacity, the pace and scale of change can be optimized.
● In this phase of the project, the programme is designed; this should be undertaken at a high level and will involve agreeing with the precise nature of the vision, building the team to implement the changes and starting to get buy-in from personnel.
● The champion should also be agreed at this stage prior to detailed planning; communication, workshops and discussions are critical at this point.
● Includes shared vision, team building and agreed responsibilities.
● The objective here is to plan the realization of the change; this requires looking to the future and thinking through all the risks, dependencies, contingencies and potential problems, and putting together a plan to address them all.
● This would include allocating resources, agreeing on timing, analyzing implications and obtaining buy-in in principle from those affected by talking to them and getting their input.
● Will include plans, risk analysis, a dependency chart and resources to achieve the plan.
● Having put the plan together, you must now implement it.
● This means ensuring that the plan is followed and that it is re-evaluated in the light of changes to the operating environment and/or strategy and because things crop up which were not foreseen.
● The critical skills here are project management and diplomacy; better management of the previous stages will make this stage that much easier.
● A well-managed and successful change programme.
Gaining acceptance goes through the process below, starting with those who are most likely to accept change – innovators – until finally the laggards are won over – or leave.
Use the innovators as Ambassadors of Progress.
Assurance to staff
Time critical implementation
Change Management will fail when you are STUPID:
Sponsorship not forthcoming
Team members do not function as agents of change
Unclear vision and commitment
Poorly planned change programme
Don’t take account of culture
Avoid confrontation; obtain a consensus.
Changes in manpower (which often result from change) must be dealt with sympathetically to ensure buy-in and acceptance as well as good morale for remaining staff.
Bear in mind that automation usually results in manual positions being made redundant.
Co-operation and Buy-in
It is important that buy-in is obtained from staff by consensus and not imposition.