Change management is constant in most organisations; it is an integral part of a company’s strategic, business and workforce planning imperatives. The nature and level of change will rely on the necessities of the organisation and the impact of external pressures and challenges such as those noted previously. Organisations who grasp and manage transformational change successfully need to have effective communication plans, change management procedures, methodologies and practices set up to deal with these progressions and transformations. NAB utilised experts to assist with their recent organizational change. Chief Marketing Officer, Andrew Knott, joined NAB to help re-position their brand through the transformation process; and utilise digital capabilities and customer analytics to ensure a highly personalised, customer-centric focus in the process (Mitchell, 2018). By focusing on people, rather than technology, in their communications, they aimed to attract new key talent to supplement the remaining teams (Mitchell, 2018). Being transparent about change with existing employees; offering career development and leadership opportunities; and providing reassurance and appreciation is vital.
National Australia Bank needs to follow an effective change management model, in order to help them best manage this transition. Pugh suggests that there is no specific change management model that needs to be utilised (Pugh, 2016 p.101). The most appropriate model is dependent on factors specific to the organisation’s challenges and issues.
The following change management models may assist NAB to adapt to organisational change:
This model argues that a change in an organisation should not be so complex (Beech & MacIntosh, 2017 p.200). Lewin suggested three steps that NAB could follow to best manage the change.
An initial step of challenging the status quo, and informing employees of changes to follow represents the act of ‘unfreezing.’ National Australia Bank demonstrated ‘unfreezing’ when they made their announcement in November 2017, as noted above. They made their employees and customers aware of the pressures and challenges being faced by the industry, and suggested that proceeding with the existing business model of the bank would hinder its success (Butt Naaranoja, Savolainen, 2016 p.34). Managers need to inform their people of how the change will be important for the entire bank, including themselves. Employees at the bank would then be more motivated and more accepting of the change.
This is also known as the transmitting stage. This part involves the implementation of the new change within the organisation, such as letting go of employees and adopting a new digital technology strategy. The time of change is naturally a challenge for every organisation, and this is not different at NAB. All their people were made aware of the changes, and therefore this potentially helped them all to work collectively towards the achievement of their goals. Clear, transparent and timely communication with their people, saves time and creates a more supportive environment, which is critical at this stage (Doppelt, 2017 p.41).
This forms the final stage of change. This is where NAB reinforces, solidifies and stabilises to a new state after the change. NAB has not yet reached this stage. It is vital to create an environment of innovation and creativity in order for employees to continue to evolve and adapt to constant technological advancements. Encouragement and a Theory X model of management are needed by leadership at this stage to retain the change and move forward.
This model describes the different steps that an organisation can follow to bring about change. NAB need to follow these steps to ensure there is efficiency in work. The steps are:
Creating urgency (Doppelt, 2017 p.84). This means that if the bank needs to change it should ensure each worker is willing to adapt to change. The managers in the bank should develop a sense of urgency towards the change to convince everyone to work towards the change. Threats and opportunities should be identified.
Forming coalitions (Doppelt, 2017 p.121). The management body should educate subordinates on how the change is important to the bank.
Coming up with a vision about the change in the bank. Vision will direct employees and therefore helping the bank to succeed in the market.
Kubler described stages which are experienced during change (Morrish, 2013 p.72). Kubler describes how people feel when undergoing change. In our case NAB would be best placed to understand the different phases that their employees and customers may go through during the time of transition. kubler’s model discusses the concept of acceptance. When managers and leadership accept the change, employees are more likely to work towards accepting it themselves.
NAB also need to understand that many may go through what is termed the concept of depression. People realise that fighting change often gets them nowhere. If employees can be made aware of the benefits and value in change, they will see how important it is to them and will less likely focus on the negatives (Morrish, 2013 p.162). Many may enter a period of denial in order to ignore change. This means that in order for the bank to change then the employees need to absorb the change and then work towards accepting that change is happening.
NAB must develop an effective management plan as described in the ADKAR model (Naotunna, 2013 p.90). This starts with the top management in the bank. The bank needs to use project plans together with management plans. For change to occur then the bank needs to consider communication plans, training plans, and sponsorship plans.
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