Change is inevitable: it is brought about by globalisation, change in customer needs, and technological developments among other factors. As much as change is inevitable, the nature of human being resists change; how well an organisation adopts to change, determines the competitive a company. Leaders have the role of implementing strategies to effect change effectively in their organisation. Change may be rapid, where there is minimal time to plan and adjust processes and products in line with the expected change (Hayes 12-23). This paper discuses change management strategy in an organisation.
A strategy is a thought system and process to be followed, with the aim of attaining certain set objectives.
The strategy may be made by an expert, or it can be developed internally in an organisation to ensure that better processes have been adopted. Implementing and managing a strategy is the final stage of a strategy, where elements and components of the strategy are put in place. In the case of change, a change strategy should be implemented and pioneered by change agents.
Change management strategy
Leadership of an organisation has the mandate of implementing and managing change. Businesses, countries and the world in general is facing massive change and developments, there are transition and development in different areas. Change should be gradual but should adopt a pace that ensures that the organisation will benefit from opportunities offered by change or mitigate any threats offered by changes in business world.
An effective change management policy will ensure a smooth transition from old process development methods to the new form of production.
Objectives of a change management program
There are different reasons why change should be undertaken in an organisation. The prevailing condition offers the objective to meet by the change process. Major objectives of a change management strategy are: Improve current working condition; this is through adoption of modern or relevant strategies, for example to implement risk management strategy, there are some change that need to be accommodate in an organization Adopt a different way of doing things and take advantage of available opportunities as other business opportunities are created Make new combinations of resources in an organization; this is mostly when better combination ways have been innovated Adopt new technology; scientific innovations and developments have resulted to technological innovation that robust organization should adopt for efficiency and effectiveness in internal and external processes. Change of business, target market, production formulae, management, job schedules, job description among other; this is where an organization need to take a different approach in business Have a different human resource management system, computer system among others
Change management program
The success of a change program is dependent on how employees in the organisation are going to adjust and the way they will perceive the change. The attitude towards change determines whether the process will be affected effectively or not. The change agents should take certain deliberate measures and follow a well thought process that is influenced by organisational culture of a company. To implement a change strategy, the following process should be followed:
This is where the need for a change in an organisation is recognised; at this stage, an analysis of prevailing condition in the industry is important.
An internal and external audit is conducted to ensure that current position in market is recognised. Change agents should undertake massive research on an area of deficit recognised so that they can devise appropriate mechanisms and strategies to an effective solution (Newman 56-78).
Pilot study and management sensitisation
After the area that need change has been recognised, the report of the change should be discussed with top management.
This is a very important task since how well top management understand the change to come in an organisation, the more support they are likely to give to the change. Through brainstorming and involvement of experts, alterative are devised; if there are past organisations that have implemented any of the set alternatives, its performance should be evaluated. The risk areas are established to ensure that mitigation measures have been established. It is at this stage that the best alternative is chosen; this stage may take varying durations depending with the urgency of the problem at hand, however it should address all areas.
Staff sensitisation and involvement
After the management have decided on the way forward, before taking any step further, they should involve their employees at all levels seeking their support. At this stage, employees are likely to have a number of questions regarding the change and how will be affected by the change. Change agents should be well versed with the expected change results and the effects it is likely to have on employees.
In case some employees have some recommendations to the change, their views should not be locked out but should be included in the change process as long as they will not contradict the objectives targeted by the change. Employees should be made aware that they are part and parcel of the change process and the process should not be implemented on them rather they should be fully involved in the change process (Sadler and James 34-46).
When all things are set to go and attitude of employees towards the perceived change is positive, then the new strategy of doing things should be launched.
Before switching the old strategy of doing things, the new strategy and the old one should be run concurrently to give a testing chance of the new strategy as employees learn and adjust to the new system. Sometime there are improvements that become necessary after implementation; such improvements should be done before the old system has been switched off. Support, monitoring, improvement and control of the new system should also be embarked on.
Managers role in change Management
Leaders in an organisation are mandated with the task of pioneering a business to its desired objectives; they are the change agents.
In transitional period the leaders is the one who guides subordinates to the desired path. They make rules and policies to be followed in attaining the goals: without disregarding their subordinates. Change needs to be planned at all, times when it is being implemented and conducted in such a way that it will be accepted in the business (Hiatt and Creasey 8-12).
Change best practice
Change Best practice is the approach that a company can adopt to undergo the change process effectively; it involves accommodating all people. Although different strategies of change management are used in different companies, John P Kotter’s has come up with an eight-stage change best practice model, as follows:
After the top management has understood and backed the change process, change agents goes down the hierarchy to create awareness on expected changes in the company.
Focus is on the specific departments that will be affected. Having round table meetings where the expected change is discussed is necessary. Relevant inputs from employees are accommodated.
Build the guiding team
At this stage, people have diverse views, fears and optimisms; depending with an individual. Change agents should work closely to explain finer details of the projects and remove doubts and tensions created.
This stage call for professionalism since it can break the entire system if a negative perception is created in the mind of the employees.
Communicate for buy-in
This stage, employees undergo necessary training on how they are expected to conduct themselves after the change process. Those employees who are still resistance should be given one-on-one approach where issues and their fears are aired out.
Change agents guide the employees to see the practicability of the new way of doing things, depending with the development; this stage can be delayed to later date. Any issues and misunderstandings are polished at this stage as employees learn more about the new system and its operations. Note at this stage, the old system still is on.
Create short-term wins
The new change is given a full test without doing away with the old one. The new system dominate in activities, this stage gives the company the chance to evaluate the new system as employees learn it further.
Don’t let up
In case the new system has disappointments, it should not be done away with; it should be reinforced and accustomed further for the business.
Make change stick
At this stage, the company will have understood the change and ready to work with it.
The old system is switched off and mechanisms mechanism to evaluate, appraise and upgrade to the new system are put in place (Sadler and James 45-76)
People are static to change; however, if an organisation implements an effective change program, then change can be smooth and effective. An effective change strategy should involve employees of an organisation at different levels and sort for their continued support.
Hayes, Johns. The Theory and practice of Change Management . New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
Print. Hiatt, Jeff, and Creasey Timothy. Change management: the people side of change. Colorado: Prosci, 2003. Print. Newman, Janet. Modernising Governance.
Belmont: SAGE Publications, 2001. Print. Sadler, Philip, and James Craig. Strategic management. London: Kogan Page Publishers, 2003.