Change Management

Strategic Leadership
May 13, 2014

Change Management

 

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Using the knowledge you have acquired from this course, provide a CRITIQUE of this video in relation to THE FOUR RESPONSES TO CHANGE in an organization. In doing so, make inferences drawn from theoretical knowledge, models, theories etc.

Change represents a transformation or a realignment of the existing assets in an organization. Change is nothing new and a simple fact of life. Some people actively thrive on new challenges and constant change, while others prefer the comfort of the status quo and strongly resist any change. It is all down to the personality of the individual and there is little management can do about resistance to change. From the video on Change Management, change is perceived differently by different individuals, some thrive on change where as others remain neutral or resist change. Based on the reactions of individuals they can be grouped into four groups- the critic, the victim, the bystander, the navigator.

The critic is the category of individuals who react by opposing the change and try to logically criticise the change and resists. The victim is the category of people who panic when a change takes place, they are used to the monotony in the work, they react with a sense of panic as they are not used to the new and feel they need to adapt quickly , this group particularly doesn’t resist change neither does it facilitated the smooth transition. The bystander are people who have a neutral stand on the chance neither do they facilitate ,resist or try to change, the tendency of this group is to ignore chance. This primary effects the change, performance of the team and individuals. The navigator are that group of people who believe in the change, acknowledge it, facilitated the transition of change. For most managers it is given that they have to take up the part of the navigator as it is them who communicates and facilitates chance within their team or department.

Based on the categories established in the video it is clear on which groups of people facilitate the transition of change and which group among them resists or ignores. The primary kind of people resisting will be the Critics, the tentative approach would be to convince people to pull them in on board but according to Dr John Kotter the critics who are very strong resist chance can create enough damage to undermine change, he also suggests that in case they stand their view very strong and resist change they should either be distracted or removed, otherwise they tend to undo the transition of chance and make it difficult to facilitate change.(  Kotter,J. 2011).

However, from the critic point of view it is important to consider change and their perception of change. Why do they consider change difficult? During change, the period of transformation can lead to lot of uncertainties – hiring, firing, replacements, who are people answerable to and who do people report to etc. A lot of uncertainties are because of the communication channel not being effective or no communication. Change creates a stress on everyone involved. Anger, fear, anxiety, and frustration can undermine self-confidence and self-esteem and ultimately can interfere with the success of the change. By encouraging others to express their fears, concerns, or needs, you can help them work through those feelings and return their focus to the task at hand.

The video argues that it is necessary for the management to communicate constantly. In my opinion, it is easier to communicate why not changing is a threat to the organisation, especially with an ever changing consumer trends, market place and technology. The video also proposes the involvement of the team. The involvement of different department and giving employees and team members to contribute to decisions with regard to the change also helps. People feel more involved and resistance will be reduced vastly. Change is usually better when it is initiated by individuals.

The video provides a quick summary of appropriate responses to change but I believe that there is more to change. Change brings a lot of uncertainties. I believe that many organisations should form certain protocols to facilitate change, so that teams and its members feel secure about the situation and are asked to follow the protocol. Protocols minimize uncertainties. In addition, I feel that it is necessary to acknowledge the small steps. This would involve celebrating small success until the ultimate change is achieved. Celebrating small or big milestones with regard to change helps to keep the employees motivated and reduces resilience to the final change.

It is difficult to move forward with change unless you understand your thoughts and feelings about it – both positive and negative. What’s more, if you ignore your initial reactions, they may surface later, paralyzing you and preventing you from taking any action at all. You can lead people only as far as you have come yourself. If you take the time to assess the impact of the change objectively and thoroughly, you will be in a better position to identify your ability to adapt successfully and will minimize the emotional distress and discomfort change can bring.

Finally and most importantly the video fails to mention the significance of transparency. there is a need for transparency between management and the employees with regard to change and repetitively communicating on why the change is important is very important. Transparency reduces uncertainties and removes the perception of conspiracy in the organisation. It is also important to evaluate and measure change over time. On a personal level if I can’t measure the progress of change it become haphazard to control or manage, the use of  ‘ Dr John Kotter’s 8 step change model ’can help managers  be aware  and help measure and manage  the progress of change on every different step.

References

Change Management – 30-Second Management Training Course [Video file]. (2008, December 4). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpuHUiy_xog&feature=youtu.be

John Kotter – Resistance to Change [Video file]. (2011, March 23). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdroj6F3VlQ


 
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