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Change is very vital to any organization to prosper. In today's life, change is important as it makes an organization to fit to the ever changing technology and cultures. If an organization is on the front line to implementing change, then it will definitely be ahead of competition. When a change occurs in an organization, whether it is a minor change or a major change, most employees may tend to rebel the changes that come forth. It is therefore vital for the concerned manager to be strategic on how best to implement the changes. This will make the employees to be part of the change and corporate in the implementation of the changes. The leaders should make the staffs see the importance of change on their own.
The leaders should not sell the change to the staffs. When the staffs visualize and see the importance of change on their own, they will be in a better position to implement change. There are so many authors who have come up to give ways on how best to manage change in an organization (Kezar 2002). Sometimes, change can just lead the company into long run losses but in most cases, it leads it into profits if well implemented. Some of these authors include; Bass/Pfeiffer, Bolman and Kezar. John Kotter, who is a professor at Harvard University, introduces his process on the best way to assess change in any given organization. He comes up with eight different ways on how best to manage change in the organization;
Establish a sense of urgency
For any change to occur, the company must be on the front line to show the interest on the importance of the change to the company. This will ensure that urgency is created and it will facilitate other departments to create the urgency all round the organization. This does not just mean talking about how sales have dropped and how there is a stiff competition in the market. The dialogue should go beyond that. The dialogue needs to be convincing, open and very honest with most issues that are directly linked to the company as far as sells is concerned. After creating the urgency, people should be given time to see the importance of change if implemented in the organization. If most of the people start talking about the change, there is no need to go back to the discussion but a decision of feeding the change immediately is appropriate. There are several things to be considered to ensure the change goes through successfully.
It is vital to identify potential threats and come up with better scenarios to indicate what can be the future consequences if there is no immediate change put in place. Coming up with opportunities that has not been used and can fully be utilized will be a great ideal to give the organization a road map for the change (Kezar 2002). Come up with intensive and honest discussions will make people start thinking on the way forward. The change should also include the stakeholders and the loyal customers. This will make the customer to have a sense of belonging. They will even give better ideas or opinions on what they think about the change. According to Kotter, he suggests that, for a change to be successful, at least 75% of the company must buy the idea. The management must concentrate so much on this step without fearing the short term losses. Jumping into quick decisions for fear may result to future huge losses due to inadequate preparations.
Create the guiding coalition
This is basically all about convincing people on the importance of change. It is never all about managing change but being on the front line to lead the change and see that the change goes through. This needs support from the managerial team in the organization to assist in the convincing procedures. To get change, one needs a coalition from different people with different title and expertise to assist in the process. They do not necessarily need to follow the traditional hierarchy of the organization.
After the coalition team has been created, the team can now start working together in the realization change in the organization. There are issues that need to be done by the team; identify a leader to lead the team. Emotional commitment is also important. Team building is vital within the same organization. The team should be an all round team where all people are represented from different department and different management levels. This will make the team to be effective when selling the idea of change to the employees.
Develop a vision and strategy
When selling the idea of change, there are other various ideas that are related to change. It is important if these ideas are related to change and make people visualize the importance of change. When people are able to visualize for themselves the importance of change, then it becomes easier to implement the change and there will be so much cooperation from all the categories. After the values of change have been determined, a summary of the change can be placed down (Bolman & Deal 2003). This is normally a short summary of what you think of the future organization. Strategies should then be created as this will allow the execution of the vision of the organization. The change that is to come should be able to describe the vision in place. If the change differs with the vision, then most likely, something is not on track. The vision should be short and precise.
Communicate the change vision
Vision is only important if it is implemented. The success of the company is not determined by the formulation of the vision but the implementation of the formulated vision. This should be communicated in the organization for everyone to know. Just like marriages, communication is important in every organization to avoid miscommunication.
It is important for the organization to walk their talk (Anderson & Anderson 2001). This can only be realized through communicating about the vision. This does not now mean that the management should call for a conference meeting and talk about their vision. As much as this is important, it is more important to talk on the vision everywhere one gets a chance and not just wait for the meeting. This will make people remember their vision on their day to day activities and thus the company will be able to realize their goals. The company should keep on talking about their new vision, apply this vision to their daily operations and the management should be on the front line to lead their team to have their vision in place.
Empower broad- based action
Reaching at this stage, most of the people have known the vision and are ready to start implementing. The management should now decide to implement the new structural change. Incase of any barriers, the company should quickly retrieve to allow the change to continue moving forward. The management should employ leaders who will mainly focus on implementing change (Bolman & Deal 2003). The organizational structure, employees' incentives and performance should concur with the current vision. At this point, it is important to recognize all those individuals who made the change a success. There will be some people who can be rebellious still with the change, the leaders should not ignore them but talk to them at individual level to make them see the importance of the change in the organization. This will be a way of removing barriers to the new change.
Generate short- term wins
After the implementation of the new change, it is important to create a short term win to make people see the importance of the change. This will prevent the negative thinker from coming up with their ideas and discouraging other people. Coming up with short term targets is also a way of motivating the staffs other than just the long term goals. This will motivate the workers to work smart as the targets will be seen as achievable. Small projects can be introduced that will make the staffs work towards without necessarily depending on the critical information on the change. The projects should not be expensive as this will make people see the change not working. It is important to start with cheap and easy projects first to motivate the workers. People who hit the targets should be rewarded to encourage internal competition.
Consolidate gains and produce more change
Kotter argues that most organization fail because they declare victory so early. Kotter believes that change goes deep and it needs little bit more time before it is declared victorious. When there is a short term win, this should be natured to make it a long term win. If it is celebrated at this early stage, it may not develop in the long run (Anderson & Anderson 2001). The organization can be successful to launch their new product with the help of the new system. This is a success but the company should just celebrate if it manages to lunch the 10th product using the same system. A success gives an opportunity to know where exactly to improve on the new system and which area to be adjusted. Incase of any win, it is important to analyze what should be improved, the goals should be set again to keep the momentum. Let the employees know the importance of constant improvement in the organization and the ideas to ensure the success should be kept fresh.
Anchor new approaches in the culture
To make the changes stick into the daily system of the organization, it should be part of the organizations daily cores. This means that the values of the vision should be seen in the daily activities in the organization. The leaders in the organization should continue supporting the change and encouraging people to stick by the new change. This can only be attained if the leaders talk every time about the progress of the change. When the company is recruiting the ne staffs in the organization, the recruitment team should incorporate the changed values during the training process (Bolman & Deal 2003). In cases where the key leaders in the organization move out, there should be people replacing them. This will enable the team of change remains intact to continue sensitizing people on the change
To achieve change in the organization, hard work is required. Good planning and foundation are the key aspects that will ensure the success of this change. Change requires patience and if it is quickly implemented, then most likely the company will never see the success of change. If the company feels that the time for the change in a given financial year is short, then it rather postpone this process to the next financial year other than rushing through the process. To declare a true victory, the company needs to ensure that they have created urgency, and to do this they need a guiding coalition. This will lead them to develop a vision and the strategy. The company should communicate effectively on the strategy vision and empower the broad based action to make them generate short term wins.
If all these are consolidated with the gains, the change of the company will be part of their culture. It is only after all these are followed that the company can talk of victory in their organization. Some companies start enjoying the victory at stage six (Bolman & Deal 2003). This is not appropriate as they will only enjoy for a short term and it feds off. The system must first fit into the culture of the company for them to be able to enjoy their victory of success. As much as the company may face barriers of resistance by some staffs in the organization, the company should not sack them but make them see the importance of change in the organization. The leaders can decide to engage to a one on one talk with the individuals to make them view the change in a different angle.
There are some who may not be able to accept the change once; they should be allowed to stay in the system to accept the change bit by bit. This in the long run will make them appreciate the change and embrace it fully. If an organization tries out a change and feels that it is not working out, they should retrieve faster and go back to the original system. This way will prevent the company from facing abnormal losses. The company strategic plan should be flexible enough to be able to accommodate changes that may come up in future. When a company remains rigid to stick to the old system, they may lose the opportunity that they may have used to improve their sales.