Many organizations experience change at various levels of their growth process. The process of change involves the employment of resources, tools and techniques of management so that the desired results can be achieved. Most organizations embrace change so that they can attain desired results such as meeting expected profit levels, expanding into new markets and adopting new policies. In order to achieve these, an organization must adopt policies that will enhance the smooth implementation of the change process that have been identified by the organization. There are various procedures that should be adopted for the successful implementation of the change process.
An organization that is planning to change must create urgency for that change (James, 2005). There should be deadlines set for the implementation of the identified tasks. The management should identify the potential threats that the company is exposed to. Such threats are mainly posed by competitors who may be invading the organization’s market share. The management will have identified opportunities that can be exploited in order to reverse the trend of maybe losing their market share to competitors or experiencing losses. Urgency for the change will then be created through involving all stakeholders such as customers, staff members, financiers and entire community. They must accommodate and be aware of the need for change for the organization. When they buy into the proposed change then the management will have easier time implementing it. This is because most of the proposed changes will in one way or the other touch on these stakeholders.
After creating the urgency for change in the organization, it is imperative to form strong teams that will implement the change (Carter, 2011). These teams should be composed of section leaders in the organization who must demonstrate commitment and aggression. It is also crucial to incorporate people from all sections of the organization. This is because different people have different talents and a perfect mix of people from all departments will enhance this. There should be team building sessions to inculcate enthusiasm in the workforce so that the desired results can be realized.
When all the stakeholders have been mobilized in embracing change, it is crucial to create a vision. When the vision for the organization has been created, all the stakeholders will understand its importance and will be willing to implement all the directives given. These directives will appear sensible to these stakeholders and they will embrace them. While creating the vision for the change its vital to pay attention to the values anticipated in the change. This should be summarized in a short sentence that the various teams can easily remember.
After creating the vision, it should be communicated daily to stakeholders. This will make it become the norm and it will not be subdued by other communication forums in the organization. It will become easier to remember and memorize. The management should apply the vision in all aspects of the day to day operations of the organization. This can be done during training and also during the conduct of performance reviews. The management must be prepared to lead by example in the implementation of the vision.
The building of acceptance and buy-in from all the levels of the organization is emphasized through talking about the vision all the time. In this process there are barriers that are normally encountered. These barriers can curtail the achievement of the vision goals. These barriers must be identified and removed through the process of putting change agents in command to drive the organization to the vision. In doing this, the organizational structure should be revisited so that all its components are in line with the vision (Arnold, 2007). Such components include job descriptions, compensation modules and performance levels. It is also vital to initiate and implement reward schemes for stakeholders like employees, partners like distributors and suppliers who have been identified to be major contributors in enhancing the vision for change. Any stakeholders who are seen not to be aligned to the change should be convinced to embrace it. This act of convincing such people is considered to be a way of getting rid of barriers that limit the progress of change.
The best way to gauge whether there is any progress being made towards the desired change is through setting short term goals. These short term goals are still inclined to the long term goal as articulated in the vision. The main advantage of achieving these short term goals is that they put off all those who are opposed to the change process by demonstrating that everything is on course for the attainment of the long term vision. It creates a lot of enthusiasm in the teams overseeing the change process. The early targets that have been chosen should not be too expensive to implement (Drucker, 1995). This is because they may be subject to budgetary constraints that may undermine their success in the short term. Lack of success in these early initiatives may hurt the achievement of the long term goal. Teams may become less enthusiastic and opponents of the change process may get mileage. The advantages and disadvantages of the desired targets must also be analyzed to check their suitability and determine at what stage of the change process they should be implemented. The identity of particular people or teams that have contributed greatly to the achievement of these short term targets should be identified and rewarded.
It is vital to maintain the momentum for change in an organization by building on these short term gains. Those chosen to foresee the change process should not celebrate at these achievements made in the short term. The teams must identify ways to continuously make improvements on areas where they experienced challenges. Every success step provides an opportunity for the identity of main trouble spots and seeking ways to overcome them. The leadership of various teams can be interchanged so as to bring in new ideas as the change process progresses.
Any changes that have been achieved must become part of the corporate culture of the organization. The change must be witnessed in each and every step of the organization in line with the vision. This change will become ingrained in the organization’s day to day operations and it will become its identity. Most organizations lose track of their change process especially when they experience changes staffing. It is crucial for any incoming staff members to get a briefing on the change process that is ongoing in the company. Such new staff should be incorporated into teams since they may also bring some wealth of experience from outside. This will make the change process alive and will prevent the organization from back tracking and losing the gains made. The ideals and the values captured by the change process must be included in the staffing models where new staff being recruited into the organization must possess those ideals and values. The main leaders of the change process who may depart the organization should be replaced as quickly as possible. It ensures their ideals and legacies in the implementation of the change process are not lost. This continuity also ensures that there are no leadership gaps. The immediate goals of the change process are attained within the set time limits that guarantee the attainment of the long term vision.
The implementation of measurable and attainable stakeholder goals which are continuously reviewed is imperative for achievement of change (Ackoff, 2009). It is only through attainment of these immediate goals that there can be motivation to forge ahead towards the vision of the organization. Another important aspect in the change process is effective communication. It ensures that stakeholders know and understand the reasons for the change, the gains that will accrue from it and the main aspects of that change i.e. when it will start, who is implementing it, where it is being implemented and how much it will cost. It is also crucial to provide training and education facilities for the stakeholders so that they can fully embrace the change. There should be some counseling provided to stakeholders so as any fears associated with change can be alleviated. Fear usually emanates from stakeholders such as sections of employees who may feel the proposed changes may make them redundant. Such fears can make them sabotage the process although their worries could be unfounded.
There should be monitoring and assessment of the key indicator of success or failure of the change process. Such monitoring allows the implementation of mitigating factors. This is done in time before there is any spillover effect of such failures. This ensures the margins of error in the implementation of the change process drivers is kept at a minimum. Stakeholders in the organization should be wary of celebrating too early especially when they attain the short term targets. They must remain focused in achieving the long term goal. They must therefore be steadfast and patient in analyzing each and every process. These analyses will give them required insights because they will be able to learn from their mistakes and successes. This will involve using sound planning techniques to review projects and activities. This will ensure proper inferences are drawn that will act as a guide in forward planning. Eventually the organization will attain the desired vision that will be embedded in its corporate culture and become its identity.
Ackoff R. (2009). The management of change, Sydney. Lakers Publishers,Arnold, A. (2007). How to Manage Change in an Organization. Princeton. Princeton University Press.
Carter, M. (2011). Managing Organizational Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Drucker, P. (1995). Managing Great Change, New York. Truman Talley Books
James, S. (2005).Essential Skills for Managing Change. Oxford. Oxford University Press