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Factors that drive organizational change

Discuss about the Environment Of Urgency And Changes.

The aspect of change within an organization is crucial hence the need to be approached with the necessary concern. Some of the factors which may result in organizational change include the introduction of a new leader in the management team or the replacement of an existing director with a totally new one (Al-Lamki, 2012, p. 550). At the same time, an organization may choose to reorganize its departments in a bid to expand and hence address the dynamic nature of the corporate market environment. Transitions within an organization may come with a number of impacts. While some may be positive, others may lead to drastic influences on the organization hence the need to incorporate the most appropriate management strategies. The management strategies happen for varied periods of time depending on the nature of the transition. In case the change may involve a total overhaul of a department, the organization may need to put in place long term measures with the core objective of managing the issues likely to arise from the change (Alvesson and Ka¨rreman, 2011, p. 46). There are various models which can be used when managing change in an organization. In this report, the focus shall majorly be on John Kotter’s model of change.  The model comprises 8 steps which starts with the management creating an environment of urgency before forming a powerful coalition with like minded people within the organization. The third step is creating a vision for change which is then followed by communicating this change effectively. Step five involves removing obstacles before short term wins are created in the next process. Step seven is all about building on the change and finally anchoring the change on corporate culture (Anderson, 2013, p. 57)

The nature of strategies employed in managing change within an organization is largely dependent on the nature of change. For this particular case, the expected change is a major one hence it can be projected to have a myriad effects across the various departments within the organization most importantly the human resource. It is also a fact worth noting that organizational change mainly affects the people within the premises before the impacts are transferred to other aspects like procedures and processes (Anderson and Anderson, 2011, p. 45). It is therefore important to adequately prepare the people for change before it is actually implemented. With reference to Kotter’s model, the organization can employ the following approaches.

Impacts of organizational change

One of the crucial aspects which the company management ought to consider is the need to bring the members of the organization to clarity in line with the intended change. Before the major components of the change are highlighted to the organization, there is the need to help the members understand the presence of a problem, a space or an anomaly in the company’s operations which would adequately be addressed by the intended change (Ashmos and Huber, 2008, p. 600). This plays a crucial role in helping the people to anticipate the change instead of resisting it. The organization can achieve this by initiating healthy and interactive discussions with the employees where their opinions about what needs to be adjusted are received and addressed. Once the people have seen the need for change, the management can emphasize the ideas by predicting the potential threats as well as development scenarios which indicate some of the things that are likely to happen in future. The team can also highlight the current market scenario in a bid to identify the areas that can be exploited in order to improve sales and return on investment (Cox and Blake, 2011). These opinions can be synthesized through constructive arguments in order to help the members understand the need for change. Additionally, the support of the company’s clientele as well as the key stakeholders can be incorporated to help strengthen the arguments on the need for change.  For instance, when Shell Company lost its oil reserves in 2004, its market shares were largely hampered (Bennett, 2013, p. 40). To salvage the situation, there was an urgent need for the overhaul of some of the processes and a change in leadership. The need for this change was communicated to the fraternity by indicating to the subsidiaries the drastic effects that the drop in market share would have on the company. This sped up the process.

Once the environment of urgency has been created, the company’s top leadership ought to commence on the next strategy which involves developing a strong team to spearhead the change process. This team should specifically be made of individuals who are like minded with regard to the change objectives. The therefore need to be people who are shown undeniable interest in helping the organization grow hence are individuals who are committed to change. While making this team, it is not necessary to follow the company’s hierarchy (Dean, 2009). The management can therefore come up with team comprising people derived from various spots across the organization. These people can include the company’s true leaders as well as its key stakeholders. Both emotional and physical commitment is then requested from the members of this team before the right team building approaches are implemented to strengthen cohesion and effectiveness. The team is further monitored in a bid to not any loop holes and hence ensures that it involves a good mix of people from different levels and departments in the company. This team when guided by the change objectives will remain crucial during the implementation process and in the stages that follow. The leaders at Shell Downstream-One used this strategy while planning for the change. The management ensured that on its side, there was a team of dedicated individuals who were in turn used to influence the others within the organization with regard to the change process (Grant and Marshak, 2011). Despite the fact that a portion of the human resource remained adamant to the need for this change, the team played a crucial role in influencing the other employees to embrace this change.

Models for managing change

A clear vision enables the people within the organization to have a clear idea of where they are headed with reference to the change. This vision ought to be communicated to the people in a clear manner so that the transition and the intended outcome make much sense to them. In order to achieve this, the organizations management may need to highlight some of the core values that are central to the change. These values can then be coined into a short stamen which therefore captures the theme of the change (Ka¨rreman and Alvesson, 2011) This serves as the strategic mission. Once the vision is firmly in place, it is then communicated to the change team who are expected to be able to describe it within the shortest time possible to the other members in the organization. In addition to the vision, the strategy for its execution is also created which is also supposed to be internalized by the core leading team. The vision speech then should become a culture where it is spoken and transmitted to people frequently for the whole organization to grasp and embrace it. The top management at Shell Company, while strategizing for the change in the company coined the change vision in good time to enable the employees have a glimpse of the outcome after the implementation of the change. This idea was effective as it means the employees required less pushing to adjust to the new procedures and processes each of which were meant to salvage the drowning giant.

Once the vision has been firmly established, the next step involves relaying it to people within the organization in a manner that is easy to understand and relate with. The method of transmission picked for this particular stage ought to be one which a good portion of the organization is conversant with. Communicating the change mission may not only involve mentioning it in every company meeting but using every available opportunity to relay this message (Knippenberg, 2010, p. 45). In addition to the frequent communication of the change vision, it should be firmly embedded in everything that the change pioneer does. This brings the concept of walking the talk. When the other members of the organization actually see the change drivers openly committed to achieving the vision, it becomes easy to bring them on board. It is equally important to note that there are other forms of daily communications which happen within the company hence influencing processes and procedures. Consequently, the communication on change vision ought to be distinct and effective enough to ward off the competition from the other communications. The main strategy in this case involves talking often about the change vision and incorporating the components of the vision in all the daily activities taking place within the company (Little, 2014, p. 50).

John Kotter's model of change

In the process of advocating for a change, it is inevitable that barriers and obstacles will appear along the way (Lorenzi, 2010, p.45). The barriers can be in form of human resistance or processes as well as procedures which tend to counter the elements of the vision. In line with the presence of obstacles, one of the approaches ought to be the timely identification of the people or processes within the organization that are showing resistance to the change. Additionally, there are structures within the organization which may hinder the change hence the need to address and adjust them appropriately (Lorenzi, 2011, p. 20). Once the barriers have been identified, the change management team embarks on the procedures to do away with them and create a conducive atmosphere for the actualization of the vision.  In order to effectively achieve this, a team of professionals committed to change can be hired by the company and charged with the core responsibility of spearheading the change process. At the same time, the systems and structures that act as barriers are identified and overhauled or adjusted appropriately. The management can also identify and reward workers within the organization who have shown commitment towards the change process. The individuals who are resistant also need to be addressed by being educated on the need for change within the organization. When the resistance both in terms of people or structures seems to hugely threaten the vision, the change management team may need to completely do away with them as a means of barrier removal. For instance, at the Shell company during the change process meant to stabilize the oil reserves and market share, the leaders who kept resisting the process where released from the company and replaced with more visionary and committed ones (Marquis, 2013, p. 193). The change team led by van der Veer was keen on identifying the areas of resistance before putting in place the necessary strategies meant to remove such barriers.

One of the motivational factors in an organization is success.  In order to help the people within the organization have a taste of the benefits that are likely to arise from the implementation of the change, short term targets can be created. The change management team in this case identifies and establishes smaller segments of the change project which can be achieved within short periods like weeks or months (Patrick, 2010, p. 160). To enhance this strategy, the people who contribute to the achievement of the short term wins are identified and rewarded. This motivates the others and adequately attracts their commitment to the whole change process. The short term targets ought to be less costly and manageable as this would minimize strains on the company in terms of resources. The outcome of these short term goals can then be monitored and analyzed in order to project the possible outcome once the whole change project is implemented (Reagan and Zuckerman, 2011, p. 515).

Strategies to prepare people for change

Achieving short term targets may not necessarily be the epitome of the change’s success, remaining consistent with the targets otherwise plays a major role. Building on the change involves identifying the loophole in the change process and continuously improving the systems for better results. After the achievement of the short term targets, outline what went right and build on it, at the same time, highlight what went wrong and adjust on it. In order to enhance the scope of the change’s success, continuously bring on board change agents to improve the systems and therefore ensure the sustainability of the project (Sturdy and Grey, 2013, p. 115). For instance, when a company introduces a new product using a system and it becomes successful, the system can be improved so that more products can be introduced through it. At Shell, once the leadership was changed and a team of experts delegated the change process, the venture proved effective. The company then kept instilling the new systems to govern operations in all countries and hence ensures that the progress of the change process was monitored from a central point. This approach played a crucial role in enhancing its success (Weick, 2015, p. 344).

People within the organization ought to have a good grip of the basic components of the change. Once the implementation of the change has been administered in small doses through the short term wins, the change team ought to work on methods of making the change permanent. This can be achieved by staying persistent with the communication on the change vision and emphasis on success by meeting the short term targets. The change vision is then incorporated into the organizational culture where it is equally treated as one of the core values of the organization. This can be managed by frequently communicating the progress of the change process to the organization (Yukl, 2014, p. 34). The achievements so far are relayed in each and every organizational meeting while the challenges met are outlined for individuals to deliberate and suggest improvement strategies. When hiring new members and staff into the company, it is crucial to include the ideals and values of the change. The new people coming into the organization therefore find the culture firmly in place which makes it easy for them to flow with the vision. The key members of the initial change coalition are also identified and their contributions lauded. Finally, the management ought to come up with proper strategic plans on replacing change leaders in case they move on. This enhances the continuity of the change process and hence the consistency of the results that accrue from its implementation.

Importance of creating a vision for change

Conclusion

The plan above outlines the steps that can be undertaken by the company to implement the change. The plan above do not only outline how the change is to be implemented, each of the stages are specifically designed to address a key concept on change management. For instance, on the issue of need for change, communication is made vivid to the members of the organization. The plan also highlight the importance of change to an organization which always be communicated to the people for them to embrace the project. Once the implications of the change process have been carefully analyzed, the company can embark on areas of improvement which in turn improves the effectiveness of the change. Despite the presences of other models like Lewin’s change model and McKinsey’s change model, Kotter’s model was used to prepare the change plan. This is because the model involves steps which are easier to follow. Since the stages do a lot in preparing people for the change, transition becomes easy and manageable.

References

Al-Lamki, S. M. (2012). Orientation: The essential ingredient in cross-cultural management. International Journal of Management, 19(1), pp. 568. 

Alvesson, M. and Ka¨rreman, D. (2011). Decolonializing  discourse. Human Relations, 64(9) pp. 1121-46

Anderson, J. (2013). The Lean Change Method: Managing Agile Organizational Transformation Using Kanban, Kotter, and Lean Startup Thinking.  New York: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Anderson, D. and Anderson, L.A. (2011). Beyond Change Management: Advanced Strategies for Today’s Transformational Leaders. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.

Ashmos, D. and Huber, G. (2008). The systems paradigm in organizational theory: Correcting the record and suggesting the future. Academy of Management Review 12 (4): 607-621.

Cox, T. and Blake, S. (2011). Managing cultural diversity: Implications for organizational competitiveness. Academy of Management Executive, 5(1), pp. 45-56

 Bennett, J. (2013). Coaching for Change. New York: Routledge.

Dean, C. (2009). RIMER Managing Successful Change. Australia: Uniforte Pty Ltd.

Grant, D. and  Marshak, J. (2011). Toward a discourse-centered understanding of organizational change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 47(2), pp. 204-35.

Ka¨rreman, D. and Alvesson, M. (2011). Resistance to change: counter-resistance, consent and compliance in a consultancy firm. Human Relations, 62(8), pp. 1115-44

Knippenberg, D. (2010). Work group diversity and group    performance: An integrative model and research agenda. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(1), pp. 1008-1022.

Little, J. (2014). Lean Change Management: Innovative Practices For Managing Organizational Change. New Jersey: Happy Melly Express.

Lorenzi, J. (2010). Managing change: an overview. Journal of Change Management. 7(2), pp. 116-24

Lorenzi, N. (2011).  Managing Technological Change. New York: Springer. 

Marquis, C. (2013). Imprinting: Toward A Multilevel Theory. Academy of Management Annals. 23(1), pp. 193–243.

Patrick, H. A. (2010). Organization culture and its impact on diversity openness in the information technology organizational context.  Journal of Human Resource Management, 1(1), pp.  67-72. 

Reagans, R. and Zuckerman, W. (2011). Networks, diversity, and productivity: The social capital of corporate R&D teams. Journal of management, 12(1), pp. 502-517. 

Sturdy, A. and Grey, C. (2013). Beneath and beyond organizational change management. Organization. Journal of Management.  10 (4), pp. 651-62.

Weick, K. (2015). Foundations for Organizational Change Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Yukl, G. (2014). Leadership in Organizations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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