reflect critically personal perspective philosophy managing change changed ( ) semester Drawing learning experiences semester (group case study, relevant change management theory, reflections relevant personal experiences organisational change), reflect critically personal perspective philosophy managing change changed ( ) semester.
The world we are living in is always changing. The nature of the is very different than the way it was decades ago. Change is inevitable. This is because, as people are always faced with new problems and as such, come up with new ways of doing things in order to better their lives. The people therefore come up with new technologies to meet this needs. For an organization to remain relevant, it must be flexible enough to change with the changing times. Resisting to the wind of change will make the organization obsolete and lead to their collapsing Zilwa, 2010.
Nevertheless, people are always resistant to change. They crave security and feel more secure doing things that they are have tested and are afraid of getting into unknown grounds. For these reasons, it is important that corporate managers be aware of how to manage change in order to be successful in today’s highly dynamic business world Williams et al., 2002.
The course on change management and the evaluation of the major change theories has impacted a great change on my perspective of change management. In this paper, my original concept on the subject of change management and how they have changed over the semester will be evaluated.
My Perspective on Change Management and How It Has Changed Over the Semester
Originally, I believed that there was no need to change as it is always followed by resistance which results in major losses. For instance, major revolutions in a company may result in the workers boycotts and strikes which halts the process of production. Why bother to institute change when the structures that are already in place are working? There is no point of putting the company at risk in a bid to make more money in an uncertain and untried way. However this perspective on change has changed over the time Singh and Waddell, 2004.
I have learnt that there is no way that a company can avoid to make changes. This is because the people’s preferences and needs keep changing and for it to remain valid, it has to respond to these changes. Furthermore, the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who take risks. The organization should maximize resource use so as to get maximum profits. This can only be achieved by responding to changing technology. The company should be able to adopt the best technology that ensures that there is efficiency, rapidity and maximum utilization of available resources Reynolds and Holwell, 2009.
The customers taste also keeps on changing and the products being produced now may become obsolete within a decade. Change is therefore important for a company survival.
Moreover, I have learnt that it is possible for the management to effect change without provoking resistance from the employees. Formally, I believed that management involved delegation of duties and good supervision by the management would result in high productivity from the employees. I never understood the value of intrinsic motivation of workers on production. This is through introducing change through a calculated process. A good way of doing this is through Kotter’s 8 step change model theory. According to this theory, change cannot be effected in a day. It requires persistency and setting of short-term goals that acts as a roadmap to the achievement of the . Despite the fact that change has the objective of , there is need for setting of short-term goals so that the employees can be motivated to continue on the same road by achievement of the , 1996.
This is because resistance to change by employees comes from within and the managers need to study the psychology of the people and then effect the change in a way that will be acceptable to this people. This requires that the management make the employees feel that the change originates from them. All personnel should be involved in the change process from decision making to the implementation. This reduces resistance as they feel that they are part of the change and have the responsibility of making it happen.
This has made me realize that the best way to motivate workers is not by monetary rewards but by appealing to their higher needs of satisfaction such as making them have an intrinsic interest in the company. This is achieved by getting them involved in the change making process which makes them have the responsibility of effecting changes that originate from them than those that are inflicted upon them by the management Parker and Craig, 2008.
I have also learnt that the pilot project is an important stage in effecting change. It is at this stage that the management can predict the success of a revolution and make adjustments to areas that have flaws. This is well been labeled as psychological contracting theory.
I had no idea on the diversity of the way in which a person can manage change. In this course I have learnt that there are various ways that a person can manage change. However, the success of these ways depends on the nature of the organization. One model may be successful for a certain company and be a total failure in another. This therefore means that an organization should identify the most suitable way of effecting change for the process to be successful. The process should however basically follow four main steps. The first one involves the unfreezing stage where the stakeholders involved are made to internalize the need for change. The second stage involves making decisions on how to effect the change. The third stage is the implementation of the pilot projects on change and the final project is the total implementation of the project. This is called the unfreezing stage and involves an overhaul of the organizational culture to accommodate the new change.
I have also learnt that in order for change to be successful, it has to be continually monitored and supervised. This is to keep it focused on the meeting of the predetermined goals of the change process. The monitoring must be continued until the new change takes deeper roots and then becomes part of the organization’s culture. Sometimes the events leading to the change may happen too fast that modifications in the change programs need to be made to make the whole process successful. Communication is also an important aspect in effecting change. This is because the people affected by the change must be made to understand the aims and the reason behind the changes so that they can embrace them. This is essential when communicating the benefits to the employees who should see that the changes respond to their needs.
I have also come to learn that there are different types of changes. There is the first order type of change and the second order change. The first order changes are localized to some structures and systems in the organization. On the other hand, the second order change has a significant effect on the organization as a whole. The managers need to recognize that it is their responsibility to effect change and not that of the employees. They therefore need to know how they can influence the employees into embracing the change.
I have also learnt that the resistance to change steams from the employees when they view change as having bad effects. To avoid the resistance, there is need for the management to change the perspective of the employees Leban and Stone, 2008.
For instance, a worker may embrace a change which involves reduction of office space due to employment of a new employee different. If they feel their job is threatened by this new recruitment, they will bitterly resist such changes. However, if they feel that such a change will result in the reduction of their workload, they will embrace the change well. The management must therefore be very clear on the reasons behind this change. The management should therefore clearly articulate the extent of change and what remains as it was before. This reduces the mounting of anxiety which is a major cause of resistance.
The fact that change has do with changing the perspectives of people makes it a complex process. This makes it important to understand the employees. Effective change can only happen when the manger deals with each individual separately. People respond to changes differently. The innovators are the first one to embrace change and are willing to take risks of trying something new. These are mostly the younger employees. The others are less flexible and may not see the necessity of the change. To minimize resistance, the leaders can first effect change through the group of innovators. When the other group observes the success of the change, they will slowly put their guards down and embrace the new changes. The manager should therefore have a close and an understanding relationship with the employees in order to understand their personality and group them. This would help them in effecting change.
The aptitude of a corporation to act in response to changes amounts to its ability to have global fitness. The case study of Apple Inc. is an example of how the company’s responsiveness to change has made it successful. Global business fitness at the Apple Company is evidenced by the ability of the firm to align its business strategies with the changing business environment. The organization is responsive to changes which constitutes one of its major sources of competitive advantage in the competitive electronics industry Carr et al., 2000.
The firm is able to prepare well in advance for new developments through extensive research and development efforts enabling it to adequately address the needs and demands of the market.
The ability to respond to the constant changes also reflects the attainment of capability to endure and handle pressures and challenges peculiar in the computing industry. For instance, the organization has been able to sustain its strategies on producing high quality and expensively priced electronic products despite pressure from competitors in the industry who offer relatively cheap electronic gadgets.
Hence Apple Company has therefore been able to achieve global business fitness by building and enhancing its physical, mental and spiritual strength. This enables the organization to contest decisively against its competitors as its competitive strength derives from the intrinsic values of the organization. Additionally, Apple Company has been able to derive skills and knowledge essential in the achievement of its business objectives from the developed business fitness. Through this the organization is able to pursue its business objects undistracted and hence the maximized returns Bronwynne, 2007.
Therefore, the Apple Company has been able to achieve the intellectual strength central in the global business fitness.
Future Approaches to Management of Change
As has been discussed above, there is need for management to come up with enhanced habits of managing transformations. This is because the business world is changing rapidly as we are living in a highly dynamic technological world where technology is becoming obsolete very fast. Organizations must therefore recognize that change management is not optional and is something they should be ready to use.
Since it has been seen that change has impact on the worker’s psychology, there is need for application of systematic approaches to managing change. This is because the random processes that have been applied in the past has resulted in a lot of resistance and has not borne any success. Managing change means changing the perspective of the people so that they can see change as being of benefit to them and not losses. The management should realize the need to integrate project management with change management as they both influence each other and should be treated as one.
With this comes the need of people to have leadership skills because change involves working through people which is what leaders do. Managers not only need to be good administrators but they need to have good influence on the workers to effect change. This is because in change management use of power and force does not work as it causes resistance. Leadership on the other hand works through influencing people which has been seen as being very effective in bringing about a revolution.
Organization need to recruit executive members who are not only good mangers but are also good leaders. A leader is the active agent of change and is able to influence other people and guide them towards achievement of predetermined goals and objectives. Such leaders are able to create a good vision by including the workers, win the employees trust and be able to communicate the urgency of the need for changeBronwynne, 2007.
He does this by reasoning with them and making the aims and intentions of such changes clear to them. This is done through the leader identifying the threats and opportunities that the organization is faced by. This is because the current economic climate is highly unpredictable and the organization has to constantly make adjustment to overcome the challenges and grow.
The leader should them create an effective team from the workforce available to him. The leader understands his employees well and is therefore able to come up with a team which is most efficient in implementing the change Birkinshaw, 2010.
He should then create the vision for change. Depending on the urgency of the need for change, the vision could take a short or long time. Small organization may take a short time in achieving the vision than larger ones which require development of complex structures for the change implementation. At this stage the leader communicates clearly the need for change by giving a clear outline of what the change will be, the manner of effecting the change and its implications.
A major course of resistance to change is the lack of experience in operating in a new system. To remedy this, the management needs to train the workers on how to use a new system and this makes them feel competent. Lack of proper training may result in frustrations on the worker which may lead them to resist the changes. The change should also be seen to benefit them and not make their work difficult.
From the case study of Apple Inc., it has been noted that the ability of a management to respond to changes coupled with good leadership qualities makes a company successful. The group assignments and the theories that I have studied in this course has given me a completely different perspective on change management. I now understand that effective change management is an important ingredient for success for any company. This then implies that every organization should be prepared to manage change because change is here to stay. The need to manage change in a systematic way as explained in the various models such as Garvin’s, Jick’s and Kotter’s model has been seen as important in mitigating resistance to change from the employees. Effecting change requires managers that are dynamic and have current information on the changing environment to ensure that they do not lose any opportunity for making good profits.
BIRKINSHAW, J.M. 2010. Reinventing management: smarter choices for getting work done, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.
BRONWYNNE, B. 2007. Managing people: fresh perspectives, Cape Town, Maskew Miller Longman.
CARR, D.K., HARD, K.J. & TRAHANT, W.J. 2000. Managing the change process: a field book for change agents, consultants, team leaders, and reengineering managers, New York, McGraw-Hill.
KOTTER, J.P. 1996. Leading change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
LEBAN, B. & STONE, R. 2008. Managing organizational change, Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons.
PARKER, D.W. & CRAIG, M.A. 2008. Managing projects, managing people, South Yarra, Macmillan Education.
REYNOLDS, M. & HOLWELL, S. 2009. Systems Approaches to Managing Change A Practical Guide, New York, Springer.
SINGH, M. & WADDELL, D. 2004. E-business innovation and change management, Hershey, Idea Group Publ.
WILLIAMS, A.P.O., DONBSON, P. & WOODWARD, S. 2002. Managing change successfully: using theory and experience to implement change, London, Thomson.
ZILWA, D.D. 2010. Academic units in a complex, changing world adaptation and resistance, Dordrecht, Springer.