In a small struggling technology company, the employees are aware that processes and structures must change if the company is going to survive, but the leadership is not. What is likely to occur with regard to the journey to organizational effectiveness if the company’s leadership doesn’t shift its thinking?
This question pertains to resistance towards change mangement by organization .Lets deliberate the change management .
YOU CAN’T EAT AN ELEPHANT IN ONE BITE.
PLAN TO OVERCOME RESISTANCE. Anyone who has ever been in an organization (and that’s just about everyone) knows that even small amounts of expected change lead to decreased organizational effectiveness, if just in the short-term. Change suggests letting go of old habits, roles, processes, procedures, and structure. There is uncertainty about new requirements and excessive concern about the future. All of this results in anxiety, stress, conflict, and resistance. Failure by the strategic leader to understand the causes for and results of resistance often leads to delays and even failure in implementation.
RESISTANCE TO CHANGE:
- IS A NORMAL HUMAN TRAIT.
- IS A FUNCTION OF PERSONALITY.
- DEPENDS ON PERCEIVED EFFECTS.
- DEPENDS ON WHETHER OR NOT IT IS IMPOSED FROM THE OUTSIDE.
What is it that impedes or derails the implementation of change? The answer is complex. Part of the answer may lie in the style and behavior of the organization’s leaders. The greater the size and complexity of the organizations, the less inclined senior executives are to sit down with their subordinates and participate in a formal, step-by-step process to develop long-term plans for the future.
Controlling the rumor mill is another way to decrease resistance to change. This is difficult in a large, complex organization because hierarchies tend to resist providing information downward until every detail of the plan is complete. This is a mistake. Smart leaders keep the organization informed about what needs to change and why, what isn’t going to change, and how the actual change is going to be implemented. Periodic information briefings about the status of the change should figure prominently in the plan for change. This serves to slow down the grinding of the rumor mill.
One way to decrease resistance is to plan for and allow people to participate in decisions which affect them. Participation in decision making gives people a sense of involvement and increases the probability of commitment to change. Scheduling change is another way to overcome resistance. If people know when they are no longer required to do things one way and are expected to move to a new way of doing things, they tend to waste less effort, experience less frustration and stress, and tend to be less resistant. Another critical factor to overcoming resistance is support from the top. It is important that the strategic leaders in the organization demonstrate their commitment to change by being spokes-persons for the change, by providing incentives for change, and by embodying the change.
One way to guarantee resistance is to announce an immediate and unexpected change. This provides a shock wave in the thinking of people who are part of the organization. In the minds of those people, the shock wave often takes the form of “They’re trying to keep something from us” or “They don’t have a clue about what they’re doing.” This leads to embarrassment and loss of face on the part of the leader and the followers. This takes us beyond resistance to the question of why change often fails (Goodfellow 1985). This is discussed in detail alter in this chapter.
CONSOLIDATE IMPROVEMENTS. Occasionally, it will be time to pause and review what has gone on and what is going on. Perhaps the vision needs revision, perhaps not. Perhaps it is time to move from small wins to big wins. Past successes can
SHORT-TERM WINS ARE IMPORTANT, BUT DON’T DECLARE VICTORY TOO SOON.
become spring boards to even greater wins if the leader takes time to consolidate improvements by recognizing the people who made the improvements possible.
INSTITUTIONALIZE CHANGE. In the final analysis, change sticks when it becomes part of the organizational culture-it becomes part of “the way we do things around here.” There are two techniques for institutionalizing change. First, show people how the change has helped improve performance and competitive advantage. Helping people make the connections between their efforts and improvements requires communication. Second, the strategic leader makes sure that the next generation of top leaders personify the vision. If requirements for promotion and advancement do not change in a manner consistent with the vision, the change rarely lasts. Bad succession decisions can undermine years of hard work (Kotter 1995).
MAKE SURE YOU ANCHOR CHANGE IN THE ORGANIZATION’S CULTURE. THE KEY HERE IS SUCCESSION PLANNING.
A CHANGE IN STYLE
Unfortunately, change does not happen as easily as described above. Very few leaders can introduce major changes required to cope with environmental pressures. Due to their prior training and experience, they are simply unable to develop the vision needed to transform the organization. They are caught in a web of pre-existing structures, organizational politics, and comfortable traditions. This is the bureaucratic mentality
Too often, inexperienced or insensitive strategic leaders who have risen through the bureaucracy assume that when the they say “do it,” everyone responds. We can see (since change efforts fail) that this simply isn’t true. In large, complex organizations, the ability of one person, even the leader, to influence an entire organization through a “telling” style of leadership becomes increasingly remote (Goodfellow, 1985).
THE “TELLING” STYLE OF LEADERSHIP
- THIS IS WHAT YOU DO.
- THIS IS WHEN YOU DO IT.
- THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT.
- GET OVER IT
WHY CHANGE FAILS
Change comes from a variety of directions– technology, the law, education, etc. Whether change originates in the corporate planning room, or from a seedling planted in the head of the chief executive officer, or as a result of changes in the strategic environment, a number of predictable reactions occur within the organization that are directly related to organizational culture.
GREAT SOULS HAVE ALWAYS MET WITH VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS.– ALBERT EINSTEIN
Each one of these reactions is designed to stall or derail change. How can we avoid failure when trying to change an organization? The secret is to know, in advance, what and where the pitfalls are. Examples of these pitfalls, adapted from Leading Change (O’Toole 1995), include:
- Problem/solution fit: How many times have you seen a solution implemented for a problem that either didn’t exist or a problem that was not properly defined? A wise strategic leader knows in which lock to stick the key.
- Failure to overcome the status quo: Large, complex organizations do not like to alter their courses. It takes an enormous amount of personal energy for the strategic leader to get things moving. People prefer the devil they know to the unknown.
- Self-interests and satisfaction: Change may be good for others, or even for the whole system, but unless people can see how their own self-interests are served, they likely will not assist the change process and more likely will work to derail the change process. People will not change if they are perfectly content with the status quo.
- Lack of ripeness: Change occurs only when certain preconditions have been met. A wise strategic leader picks the right time for change.
- Lack of self confidence: This lack of self-confidence can exist in the leader as well as the led. In the face of new challenges and requirements, we often wonder if we are up to the challenge. Training and development of new skills and abilities will help boost self-confidence.
- Future shock: If people feel overwhelmed by major change, they hunker down in a defensive crouch and fight off the change. Sharing information and scheduling change in a sensible fashion will help reduce the shock.
- Sense of futility: Many changes are superficial, cosmetic, illusory, or designed solely with the purpose of making the executive look good by making it look like he/she is improving things. People go through the motions, but nothing really happens.
- Lack of knowledge: From the start of the change, the strategic leader and the organization were not equipped with the requisite knowledge about the environment or the organization. This is where developing sensing networks well in advance of the change can pay huge dividends.
- Perversity: Be careful what you ask for because you may get it, and more. Change may sound like a good idea, but you had better know what the second- and third-order intended and potential unintended consequences of change are.
- Ego-chaining: Change requires that people admit the previous situation or position was wrong or is no longer relevant. If their egos are chained to their position, they will not move.
- Myopia and short-term thinking: It is difficult for people to defer gratification even if they can see beyond the tips of their shoes. People, leaders included, want results immediately. Make sure you build in small, quick payoffs at the individual level so that ultimately you can attain the major payoff
DO WE NEED TO CHANGE? THE ACID TEST:
- WHAT HAS CHANGED IN THE EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL ENVIRONMENTS?
- WHAT PARTS OF MY ORGANIZATION CAN COPE WITH THOSE CHANGES IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND DON’T NEED TO CHANGE?
- WHAT PARTS OF MY ORGANIZATION CAN’T COPE WITH CHANGES IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND NEED TO CHANGE?
- WHAT ARE THE REQUISITE CHANGES WE NEED TO MAKE?
- WHO DO WE NEED TO TELL?
- WHO CAN I GET TO HELP ME MAKE THOSE CHANGES?
- HOW SHOULD WE GO ABOUT MAKING THOSE CHANGES?
- HOW WE WILL KNOW THAT WE EFFECTIVELY IMPLEMENTED THE RIGHT CHANGES?
- WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITY COSTS OF MAKING THOSE CHANGES?
- WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITY COSTS OF NOT MAKING THOSE CHANGES
THE MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE
- DEVELOP SENSING NETWORKS.
- SELECT THE TYPE OF CHANGE.
- SELECT THE RIGHT METAPHOR.
- CREATE THE VISION.
- EXPAND THE TARGET AUDIENCE.
- GATHER AND BROADEN THE POWER BASE.
- ALERT THE ORGANIZATION.
- COMMUNICATE THE VISION.
- CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY.
- MANAGE THE PLANNING AND EXECUTION PROCESSES.
- EMPOWER OTHERS TO ACT ON THE VISION.
- PLAN FOR AND CREATE SHORT-TERM WINS.
- PLAN TO OVERCOME RESISTANCE.
- CONSOLIDATE IMPROVEMENTS.
- INSTITUTIONALIZE CHANGE.