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Strategic Change Management

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Change being the only constant as was put by Alvin Toffler the futurologist; it means that no matter what, change is going to be there. Therefore, it is necessary to put in place ways that will enhance a successful implementation of change in an organisation. Change is the process of moving from the current state to the desired state. Making a change involves, moving the organisation’s people and culture in line with the strategies, structure, processes and systems, (wmwscribd. com). However, a areful approach has to be followed if one desires to achieve in implementing the change.

One way of doing that is ensuring that the content and process of change will not provoke resistance, because depending on what approach you take, the content and process of change, can affect the successful applicability of change. This is comprised of structure, systems and technology in the organisation. Structure includes; assessment of division of power. Systems comprise of rules and regulations, together with policies. And lastly, Technology is all the tools, techniques, Instruments and procedures.

They have to be considered, because they are delicate issues that can easily hinder change to take effect. l. Structure How the organisation is structured in terms of authority, also determines the response of the people to who change is being proposed. Without being careful, this may trigger a negative reaction; i. Pyramid- This is where power is centralised, as was well illustrated by following an example of how the Giza pyramids were built. Coercive power is mostly exercised, therefore, reducing the morale of commitment the people had, since they feel the change is being forced on them. ii. Flat- This follows the decentralised approach, whereby, everyone is free to give their input and is flexible to work without feeling they are under scrutiny. Compliance with the change is more likely, since they believe that it is a legitimate exercise.

iii. Functional- The different departments of the organisation may have different perceptions as to how things are supposed to be done, depending on how communication between different departments is being influenced, there may be problems in fostering change. iv. Matrix- An individual may have two superiors to report to only for a particular project. This may have a negative impact where this person feels pressured as they may be required to report to two people. v. Divisional- For example, Strategic Business Units (SBU), as much as this division is aligned to the corporate goal of the organisation, they work more independently. Therefore, the people may fear loss of status power and resent being interfered when introduced to change and may end up reacting negatively.

v’. Product- If an organisation is more product inclined, there is usually little motivation and commitment that affects the acceptance of change. II. Systems Rules, Regulation and Policies that an organisation put in place has a great influence on the perception of its employees, for these are a step by step guideline of what is supposed to be followed and they have a big influence on carving the culture of the organisation. Therefore, whatever rules, regulations and policies are being practiced, they may either help in effecting or affecting change.

It all lies within how well the Ill. Technology The type of tools, techniques, Instruments, methods and procedures an organisation wants to introduce requires systems and structure that will blend well with it. This calls for structures and systems that encourage innovation. If careful measures are not taken, there may be great resistance to change. This is a step by step guideline of how change will be planned, designed and implemented.

The process of change is comprised of five phases that any organisation undergoing the change process should consider, these include; Phase 1 i. Asses For Change * Conduct an Assessment Assessments are tools that can be used to gauge the organisation’s readiness to change. Any successful organisation finds time to assess both internal and external actors affecting or effecting its day to day business. It is normal to have a microscopic view of the impact of change on these factors when introducing change, to ensure its success.

Therefore, it is important to start with assessing the readiness of the organisation impacted by the change, by looking at the leadership style, whether the change being introduced will work with the existing style. How the organisation is being managed, can determine whether change will be successful or not. Change assessment also includes analysing the culture and history of the organization, in order to make an informed decision as to whether the culture has to be changed.

Culture involves certain beliefs that employees in an organisation has, including myths and stories, so to have the change effected, it may be necessary to adjust the mentalities they have to align them with the change being introduced. A closer scrutiny on the impacted group is a necessity when effecting change, therefore, Employee assessment is considered to be vital in the change process. Analysing their values and background with the organisation helps determine how skilled and motivated the employees are. There may be high resistance of change from the employees if they are lacking motivation.

Employee assessment gives a clear picture of the degree of resistance that is to be expected, by knowing this, the change management team will be well prepared in strengthening the driving forces of change, as Kurt Lewin (1947) emphasised that the driving forces have to surpass the restraining forces. It is also necessary to conduct an assessment of the sponsors of change; these are the people that are in charge of leading the change. Sponsorship involves active and visible participation by senior business leaders throughout the process (www. change-management. com).

If the sponsors do not have a good relationship with their colleagues, it may become a big problem when introducing change because it may trigger resistance, therefore, affecting its application in the organisation. As has already been mentioned in the preceding paragraph, not only factors such as; political, economic, social, technological, environmental, legal and to add on that, competition. The change being brought into the organisation has to conform to the demands of these external factors or the organisation may risk failure to launch the change successfully.

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