Major organizational changes
The first phase involves preparing the people for change with the focus on getting them to let go of what is familiar. The second phase involves taking the steps that actually implement the change, while the last phase involves returning the organization to a stable state again based on the new culture. In Kotter’s leadership model, the emphasis is on leadership and not just management of change since change involves people and their emotions. In each of these phases, he identifies important concepts that management needs to follow in order to lead the organization through the transition.
In the first phase, the goal is to convince the employees that they need to abandon the old way of doing the work and to embrace the concept of change. This requires a lot of work in breaking down the barriers that hinder change. For most people the natural instinct is to resist change, and in this phase, it is management’s job to convince the employees of the validity of the change based on a business need. They need to create a sense of urgency, and build a team of supporters that can act as a catalyst to develop a buy-in for the project.
Management also needs to develop a clear direction for the future and effectively communicate this vision. During the second phase management needs to empower employees to take the required actions to remove both organizational and individual obstacles. They need to establish short-term goals, and consolidate these victories in order to keep the momentum of change moving forward. These early wins provide incentive to the employees that the change is worthwhile and in their best interest.
In the final phase, management needs to reinforce the concept that these changes are permanent by demonstrating how they contribute to the company’s success (Rose, 2002). Since constant change is inevitable in the telecommunications industry it is also one of the most important factors in the success of any telecommunications organization. CrysTel’s main goal is to increase its products offering in the market by implementing a range of emerging telecommunications technologies.
To determine the impact of this change on the organization CrysTel’s management must evaluate and analyze the different departments in the company and whether they are ready to adopt these ongoing changes. In order to achieve the company’s goals CrysTel has to align all these departments to function efficiently to manage this program of ongoing changes. While in most organizations the marketing and sales and delivery departments go hand-in-hand to serve the overall goal of the organization.
At CrysTel each department is working separately resulting in a lack of communication which is developing goals and measures incompatible with overall organizational strategy. To change this attitude and align department goals with its overall organizational strategy CrysTel has to manage the human aspects within these departments. A work environment is composed of two types of building blocks-those which are “inert” dealing with structures, policies, technology, strategies, capital, and tools and those that are “human” dealing with perceptions, assumptions, resistance, fears, aspirations, beliefs, and values.
Each work environment has its own configuration of inert and human components that form a unique identity or landscape that distinguishes it from any other work setting (Conner Partners, 2004). The inert aspects are isolated, independent features of the landscape that have no inherent connection to one another. A change does not by itself trigger a shift in the way employees are managed. It is the human component of a landscape that provides all the links, bonds, and affiliations that exist within work settings.
Without the human component, meaningful integration of the various inert components would not exist. At CrysTel each department must understand that they can not stand alone without being affected by other department’s performance. The survey indicated that the marketing department is weak in the areas of employee and senior communication, empowering the teams and does not initiate mentoring activities to train less experienced employees. The survey also indicated that the Sales and Delivery Department is weak in the areas of risk-taking, resolving conflicts and leading by example.
Because of the powerful influence employees and their reactions have on the success of change initiatives, it is vitally important for leaders to ensure that the human landscapes encircling key business solutions are managed properly. Leadership today involves more than the top down view of making the right decisions about what should be done. In addition to correctly determining the proper course of action, leaders must also adopt the bottom up view of knowing how to orchestrate the human infrastructure to ensure that there is enough support from the key employee involved to actually achieve the true purpose of the change.
When an organization undergoes a significant change a culture change often accompanies it. Change leads to uncertainty and study after study has suggested that uncertainty negatively affects production and performance. Because of this, major organizational changes must be carefully managed and monitored with the desired result of decreasing the amount of resistant in the hearts and minds of the employees.
The true difficulty in changing the course of any organization is not in developing new ideas but lies instead in escaping from old ideas (Keyenes, 1935). Because change has become an everyday part of organizational dynamics, employees who resist change can actually hold back the organization from reaching success. Resistance is an inevitable response to any major change. Individuals naturally rush to defend the status quo if they feel their security or status is threatened (Bolognese, 2002).