Change has been conceptualized by several authors as a planned and sequential process that leads to the transition of organizations from the current state to a desired future state. it comes up after proper prior strategic planning and anticipation coupled with adequate training of the staff. Change is feared. Unfortunately, it will have to occur in any organization. It is particularly driven by the dynamic times and circumstances combined with the need for organizations to remain relevant in the face of stiff competition and the vehement desire to increase productivity while reducing production costs. Technology has made it necessary for organizations to embrace change a great deal. The planned and sequential change has its own strengths and limitations.
Types of organizational change
There are various types of change that can occur in an organization. There is the mission change which occurs when an organization changes its mission. This is driven by market trends and current technological advancements. The strategic changes mainly focus on the fundamental key issues of the strategic planning of the organization. Operational changes may also occur and they result in a transition in the manner in which organizational tasks and operations are carried out. This type of change also includes structural changes.
Technological change is another very critical aspect of any organization. It includes the change of the technological infrastructure such as the software, hardware, other technological resources including the personnel and anything related to technology. Furthermore, the change in organizational culture is a significant element in any organization. This has got a lot to do with the relationship between the organization with both internal and external clients. All these changes must be planned and carried out in a necessarily sequential manner.
By carrying out the change in a sequential and planned process, the following benefits can be obtained. First and foremost, it leads to effective communication which ensures that all the stakeholders and the departments in an organization are effectively informed of the reasons for change and why it is important for them as individuals and the organization at large. This leads to a successful implementation of the changes that are to be conducted whether operational, strategic, cultural, and technological among others.
The models also ensure that effective education, training, and upgrading schemes are devised. This is very important especially when the process is effectively and efficiently planned as it makes the staff ready and prepared to take up the change. With the necessary training and development of skills among all the stakeholders, readiness to take up the process is cultivated among them.
Moreover, when the change is conducted in a planned and sequential manner, the resistance from employees is countered. If this change is abrupt, it is certain that there would be a lot of resistance coming from employees. Its sequential and planned approach alleviates the organization from this dilemma. Besides, it alleviates fears that come with it. Quite often, change is associated with fear. People want to remain the way they are. They are happy and contented as they are. Abrupt changes can mean a substantial amount of fear in an organization. As such, conducting it in a planned and sequential manner is welcome and very appropriate for any organization.
Planning change also has a lot of benefits to the management as it leads to the realization and definition of measurable stakeholder aims, creating a business case for achievement which is constantly updated. This also assists in monitoring assumptions, risks, costs, dependencies, return on investments and even the cultural issues that may occur as a result of the forthcoming change.
It is also important to note that the model provides for the possibility of monitoring the implementation and fine-tuning as necessary. This is particularly due to its planned approach. An abrupt change does not even provide an opportunity for monitoring the implementation. It is by any standards bound to fail. That is where this becomes very advantageous, appropriate and called for.
Because of the planned and the sequential approach involved in these change models, there are certain weaknesses that they exhibit. Firstly, the process is lengthy and tedious. It is bound to be time-consuming and cumbersome. A lot of issues must be put into perspective before the benefits of the change can be seen. As a result, a lot of time is spent in familiarizing staff and stakeholders with the elements of the change. Other competitors who had implemented such kind of change are highly likely to be on top of such an organization since they do not have time to waste on all these tedious procedures.
It is also significant to acknowledge the fact that this change is very expensive in terms of the resources that will be utilized in training of the staff, purchase the relevant hardware and software and facilitate the entire process which is very long indeed. As such some organizations opt to lay off their staff and employ the skilled ones to avoid extra expenses to be incurred in the training. This is a great demerit.
As much as the sequential and planned approach aims at eliminating fears among the staff and preparing them ready for the impending change, there will always be the fear element. Consequently, some amount of resistance must be experienced by the employees. This is also a weakness of the model that has to be addressed.
Where technological changes are involved in the model, it is highly likely that some employees would lose their jobs. Technology tends to do work that initially could be done by several people. As such, it would be very difficult to shape people’s mindsets to believe that this change is a good thing for them. Resistance will always be experienced leading to the low pace of the change or even realization of meagre benefits of the change.
How the Change Model applies to Situations when Change needs to be managed after Organizational Crises
Organizational crises are likely to occur as a result of lack of profits, stiff competition and even the poor organizational culture. In such circumstances, change has to be managed effectively. The change will begin with a systematic diagnosis of the organizational crisis. This helps in determining the need for change and the capability of the change. Having fully diagnosed the crisis, the objectives, contents and processes of the change are well defined. They are specified as part of the change management plan.
It is therefore clear that a planned and sequential approach is very appropriate in managing change after a crisis in the organization. Its application in providing a planned and sequential approach in dealing with the crisis cannot be underestimated. At a time when an organization is undergoing a crisis, an abrupt method of bringing about change can imply even greater danger to the organization. It can plunge the organization to even greater depths of the crisis. The change has to be managed by first letting all the stakeholders know about the situation – crisis preparing them to tackle the problem. This is very important and is able to get the organization out of the crisis.
The change should not be taken as a bad thing in any organization. It is what leads to the organization remaining competitive and relevant in the dynamic times. It should be managed in a planned and sequential manner to reduce resistance, fears and prepare every employee ready for it. In the case of an organizational crisis, change management ought to be well planned and implemented so that the crisis is contained.
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