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Change Management, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 909

Essay

We live in an increasingly competitive world because globalization has increased trade between countries, opened more markets to the market players, and human and capital resources have become more mobile than they were in the past. Thus, it has become even more important to successfully manage change so that organizations continue to learn and evolve in order to remain competitive and maintain profitability. Different change process theories have been proposed over the last few decades such as Lewin’s Change Management Model, ADKAR Model for Change Management (ADKAR), and Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model.

Lewin’s Change Management Model proposes that change be bought in three steps which have been called Unfreeze, Change, and Refreeze in the model. The first step is Unfreeze which means that the organization should challenge the existing culture and work practices and prepare everyone for an impending change. The management also explains why a change has become inevitable and how it will benefit the organization and all the stakeholders involved in order to secure everyone’s support. The second step is Change where the actual steps are taken to implement change and new behaviors and work practices are adopted. The third step and the final step is Refreeze when people have started embracing the changes. Thus, it is time to establish the new changes as the norm (MindTools).

ADKAR is a goal-oriented change management model. ADKAR breaks down the change process into multiple steps and the results are evaluated at the completion of each step to determine whether the stated objectives were achieved or not. The benefit of ADKAR is that it helps to identify specific factors that may be working against the overall change process and address those specific factors. ADKAR model is composed of two dimensions which are Business dimension of change and People dimension of change. Business dimension of change includes elements such as business need or opportunity, project definition, business solution, proposed processes and systems, and implementation of the solution. People dimension of change includes elements such as awareness of the need to change, desire to participate, knowledge of the final form of change, ability to implement the change, and reinforcement to keep the change in place (Prosci).

Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model as the name suggests, consists of 8 steps which are establishing a sense of urgency, creating the guiding coalition, developing a chance vision, communicating the vision for buy-in, empowering broad-based action, generating short term wins, never letting up, and Incorporating changes into the culture(Kotter International). In short, Kotter’s model provides a step by step guidance to implement change and is more specific than other models which is not surprising since it is relatively new. Thus, it has the added benefit of taking into account the challenges being faced by most organizations in their quest to introduce flexibility. The model introduces a step-by-step guidance to successfully pave the way for a flexible culture within the organization.

People usually resist change because it means learning new skills and doing things different from what they are used to. Some fear their performance will be negatively affected. People are also interested in as to how the changes may impact them and behave accordingly. Because change is often adapting to new way of doing things, the fear of unknown also results in resistance (Peter Barron Stark Companies). If the change is expected to make the organization lean, some people would oppose it especially if it means loss of power and authority. The paste experience may also result in opposition especially if the previous experience resulted in disappointing outcomes. Some think that because the organization seems to be doing fine, there is no reason for change. Moreover, change always carries some risk and different people have different attitude towards risk. The people may also resist change if they feel the decisions are being imposed on them without taking into account their concerns and opinions.

The managers/leaders can take several steps in order to secure the support of the subordinates and other stakeholders. First of all, the management should communicate to the stakeholders as to why the change is being implemented. People are more likely to support change if they can see the relationship between the desired change as well as the organizations’ overall objectives. Second, the management should involve subordinates in the discussions and seek their opinions/feedback. When people feel their opinions are being listened to, they will be more willing to cooperate.

The management should communicate how the change will impact/benefit the subordinates in order to ease their concerns as well as make them aware of the benefits that will flow to them from the change. The management may also tie a portion of the employees’ overall compensation plan to the progress in organizational change. This will give the employees an incentive to contribute towards the success of the overall change process. The management should also take efforts to keep the employees informed of the progress because this will help build trust between the management and the subordinates. Some employees may be skeptical of their ability to adapt to change so the management should provide training wherever needed in order to help employees feel comfortable in the new working environment.

References

Kotter International. (n.d.). The 8-Step Process for Leading Change. Retrieved September 28, 2011, from http://www.kotterinternational.com/kotterprinciples/changesteps

MindTools. (n.d.). Lewin’s Change Management Model. Retrieved September 28, 2011, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_94.htm

Peter Barron Stark Companies. (n.d.). Why Employees Resist Change. Retrieved September 28, 2011, from http://www.peterstark.com/why-employees-resist-change/

Prosci. (n.d.). “ADKAR” – a model for change management. Retrieved September 28, 2011, from http://www.change-management.com/tutorial-adkar-overview.htm

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