Organizational change is any action or set of actions resulting in a shift in direction or process that affects the way an organization works. Change can be deliberate and planned by leaders within the organization (i. e. , shift from inpatient hospital focus to outpatient primary care model), or change can originate outside the organization (i. e. , budget cut by Congress) and be beyond its control. Change may affect the strategies an organization uses to carry out its mission, the processes for implementing those strategies, the tasks and functions performed by the people in the organization, and the relationships between those people.
Naturally, some changes are relatively small, while others are sweeping in scope, amounting to an organizational transformation. Change is a fact of organizational life, just as It is in human life. An organization that does not change cannot survive long much less thrive in an unpredictable world. Several factors may make organizational change necessary, including new competition in the marketplace or new demands by customers. These types of external forces may create expectations of improved efficiency, better service or innovative products.
When organizational change is well planned and implemented, it helps assure the organizations continued survival. It can produce many tangible benefits, including improved competitiveness, better financial performance, and higher levels of customer and employee satisfaction. These benefits may take some time to achieve, however, and the transition period that accompanies major organizational change usually is a time of turmoil and uncertainty. Not every individual in the organization will benefit personally from change; some will be casualties of change, especially if jobs are cut or realigned.
But change should make the organization as a whole stronger and better equipped for the future. Every organization will institute a change, some companies change all of the time in order to attempt to improve. Not all of these changes work. Some fail because they are not well thought out; others fail because they are not well executed. The need for change can come about for a number of reasons. Two basic originations are: the business recognizes the need for change in order to improve or be competitive; an employee recognizes that a change is needed in order to make his/her department better or more productive.
In either case, if you are ever asked to make change happen in your organization you should be aware of the many details involved and learn to address them in order for the change to happen and for your own success. Set specific goals and objectives before involving staff in strategy development for change implementation. This is particularly important when convening change teams. Left to their own devices, these groups usually have little incentive to initiate major changes. Instead, they are more likely to try to solve problems by “tinkering around the edges. By giving change teams clearly defined expectations regarding quality, cost, and performance, and then allowing them to help develop strategies for meeting those goals, managers are more likely to elicit innovative and effective plans. Communication is critical to the success of any change effort, but it is extremely difficult. As mentioned, organizational change creates a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety for staff. The initial reaction of many people is to deny that the change will actually take place, or that it is permanent and not simply a “passing phase. Managers need to develop solid communication plans that are embedded in the change process and that use a variety of media to reach different audiences with different communication needs and preferences. Some managers find that staff reacts positively to more interactive approaches, such as town meetings, small focus groups, or one-on-one meetings with supervisors. Managers should also keep in mind that messages about change need to be repeated ? sometimes frequently ? because they seldom sink in with everyone the first time. At State Farm Insurance we prioritize learning.
Learning is simultaneously both a process and a value. Ideally, every individual in the company, regardless of position or tenure, is committed to being better tomorrow than they are today—through learning. The organization as a whole is committed to continual improvement of every facet of itself, its products and its services—by learning about learning. As both the individual and the organization develop, associates will feel a renewed connection to their work, customers will be better served, and the organization will create a future for itself. [pic] Change implementation requires persistence.
Change rarely works out exactly as planned. Managers may feel overwhelmed at times by their responsibilities and by the stress of change. They may need to ask the organization’s leaders for additional support or training to deal more effectively with certain issues. They may also need to experiment and learn a few lessons the hard way before hitting on the combination of strategies and approaches that will work best for them. References www. theleadershipexperience. com www. bizmanualz. com/information/2005/03/11/7-ways-to-facilitate-change-within-your-organization www. questia. com/PM. qst? a=o&se=gglsc&d=5000344659&er=deny