The Principles and Techniques for Managing Change
The changes in the contemporary business world never seem to cease occurring. With today’s technological advancements, globalization, demographical changes in the market, and fierce competition between firms, it is not surprising that business leaders have decided to make the corresponding changes in order for their organizations to subsist and thrive. As a result, organizations now realize the importance of anticipating the elements that instigate change and the essentiality of techniques for effective change management.
For the management of change to be successful, the website of Lynco Associates, Inc. presents 12 principles of change management. Among these principles, the first, second, and 10th appear to be the most crucial. The first principle implies that the stakeholders’ perception of change and the quality of their relationship with one another are essential to the effective implementation of change (Lynco Associates, n. d. ). As the change would absolutely have an effect on them, it is important that they understand its significance and how it is going to affect them.
This principle is supported by Carolyn Urban’s (2004) article which stresses the magnitude of the “human factor” in managing change. Urban (2004) suggests that a “communications and training strategy” should be developed and employed before implementing the intended change (n. p. ). By communicating to the employees the changes in the business processes and equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills, they will be ready for the changes that will occur. In turn, the company will be able to establish a successful change management program (Urban, 2004).
On the other hand, the second principle states that change only occurs when every member of the organization decides to make it happen (Lynco Associates, n. d. ). Thus, change would not take place if only the organizational leaders are advocating it. The employees and other stakeholders also have to acknowledge and understand the need for change and do what they can to implement it. However, abiding by this principle is not an easy feat. According to Guy and Beaman’s (2005) study, organizational resistance is one of the major barriers to change (cited in Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM], 2007).
The employees’ resistance may stem from fear or shock, as they feel that their security is threatened by the impending change (e. g. , they fear that they will lose their job or position). Consequently, by rejecting the change, productivity declines (Harvard Business School Press & SHRM, 2005 cited in SHRM, 2007). To prevent this, as Urban (2004) stated, SHRM also suggests that effective communication of change is an integral process that is crucial to the growth of not only the organization but also of the employees.
Moreover, SHRM (2007) proposes that the leaders must do away with practices that impede change. Rather, they must establish business processes that encourage change and ease its implementation, leading to a culture of change. These processes that support change also influence the employees to anticipate it and perceive it as an inevitable phenomenon (Lawler & Worley, 2005 cited in SHRM, 2007). Thorough planning, open communication, and group effort are some of the practices that SHRM (2007) believes can instill a culture of change within the company.
Finally, the 10th principle emphasizes the importance of “a clearly defined vision of the end result,” as this makes the organization to determine the most cost-effective methods to achieve the results and turn the vision into a reality (Lynco Associates, n. d. , n. p. ). According to business experts such as Senge (1990) and Kotter (1996), change and growth occurs when the organizational vision involves a future that is attractive yet realistic, straightforward, and focused (cited in SHRM, 2007). Hence, a company must have a kind of vision that supports the culture of change and then communicate this vision well to stakeholders.
Zaccaro and Banks (2004) suggest the use of company image and presence as a strategy to exemplify change in order to develop an appealing yet reasonable vision and eventually manage change successfully (cited in SHRM, 2007). This can be achieved by making the company image, principles, and other statements embody change. Through this, a gradual and effective establishment of the organizational vision and change could be attained (Zaccaro & Banks, 2004 cited in SHRM, 2007). Change management is a key element to organizational development.
By accepting change as a natural occurrence, organizations would be able to prepare themselves and employ the necessary strategies and techniques in order to implement and manage change successfully. These strategies and techniques include communicating the change to stakeholders effectively, training employees, establishing practices that support a culture of change, and having an appealing, close-to-reality vision that encourage change within an organization.
Lynco Associates, Inc. (n. d. ). Twelve Principles For Managing Change. Retrieved July 30, 2008 from http://www. lynco. com/12prin. html Society for Human Resource Management. (2007, December). Change management: The HR strategic imperative as a business partner. HR Magazine, 52. Retrieved July 30, 2008 from Allbusiness Database http://www. allbusiness. com/labor-employment/human-resources-personnel/5505194-1. html Urban, C. (2004, November). The human factor of change management. Training. Retrieved July 30, 2008 from Allbusiness Database http://www. allbusiness. com/services/educational-services/4271721-1. html