Change processes and change projects are the milestones in any organization's history. Due to the dynamics in the external environment, many organizations find themselves in nearly continuous change. The scope reaches from smaller change projects in particular sub business units up to corporation-wide transformation processes. Similarly many risks are associated with change process. To overcome such risk organizations requires having effective change agent. Anyone can be change agent unless they possess certain qualities. As a multidisciplinary practice, Organizational Change Management requires for example: creative marketing to enable communication between change audiences, but also deep social understanding about leadership's styles and group dynamics. As a visible track on transformation projects, Organizational Change Management aligns groups' expectations, communicates, integrates teams and manages people training. It makes use of metrics, such as leader's commitment, communication effectiveness, and the perceived need for change to design accurate strategies, in order to avoid change failures or solve troubled change projects. An effective change management plan needs to address all above mentioned dimensions of change. This can be achieved in following ways:
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Putting in place an effective Communication strategy which would bridge any gap in the understanding of change benefits and its implementation strategy.
Devise an effective skill upgrading scheme for the organization. Overall these measures can counter resistance from the employees of companies and align them to overall strategic direction of the organization.
Personal counseling of staff members (if required) to alleviate any change related fears.
Change management is a basic skill in which most leaders and managers need to be competent. There are very few working environments where change management is not important.
When leaders or managers are planning to manage change, there are five key principles that need to be kept in mind:
Different people react differently to change
Everyone has fundamental needs that have to be met
Change often involves a loss, and people go through the "loss curve"
Expectations need to be managed realistically
Fears have to be dealt with
Here are some tips to apply the above principles when managing change:
Give people information - be open and honest about the facts, but don't give overoptimistic speculation. I.e. meet their OPENNESS needs, but in a way that does not set unrealistic expectations.
For large groups, produce a communication strategy that ensures information is disseminated efficiently and comprehensively to everyone .E.g.: tell everyone at the same time. However, follow this up with individual interviews to produce a personal strategy for dealing with the change. This helps to recognise and deal appropriately with the individual reaction to change.
Give people choices to make, and be honest about the possible consequences of those choices. Ie meet their control and inclusion needs
Give people time, to express their views, and support their decision making, providing coaching, counselling or information as appropriate, to help them through the LOSS CURVE
Where the change involves a loss, identifies what will or might replace that loss - loss is easier to cope with if there is something to replace it. This will help assuage potential fears
Where it is possible to do so, give individuals opportunity to express their concerns and provide reassurances - also to help assuage potential fears.
Keep observing good management practice, such as making time for informal discussion and feedback even though the pressure might seem that it is reasonable to let such things slip - during difficult change such practices are even more important.
Where you are embarking on a large change programmes, you should treat it as a project. That means you apply all the rigours of project management to the change process - producing plans, allocating resources, appointing a steering board and/or project sponsor etc.. The five principles above should form part of the project objectives.
Some of the effective change agent qualities are describe below.
Corporate culture depending on culture, strategic significance of project, receipt of project among management and staff, timeframe, funds etc, change agents may need good project management capability in order to guarantee timely progress, or they should be good leaders with the ability to encourage people.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
Change agents always need the ability to get all people affected by the project concerned, to make sure their support and promise. This requires a high capability as the basis for receipt as well as soft skills, which are often abridged as emotional intelligence. This includes the ability to communicate, to understand and to take into account opinion and uncertainties of others. Change projects involve a great different of factors and forces. These factors do not only include the reasons and objectives for change, but also the existing state of the organization, values, beliefs and routine of the people there. Many change projects challenge the alive cultural structure of an organization. Efforts to change such long-lasting values, however, lead to conflict and refutation. More than in technology-related projects it takes the taking and the hold up of all people affected by such projects to make them succeed. It is the change agent's task to generate this acceptance in order to implement change with the people, not against them.
15 Key Competencies of Change Agents
In spite of the comprehensive and ever changing load on professionals as change
agents, there are definable competencies that can be tacit and learned.
the successful change manager have the ability to:
Diagnose problems - Understanding both the business drivers and the organization
well enough to identify presentation issues and analyze their force on short and
long term business results
Build relationships with clients - form partnerships with shared task
for the outcomes of the change effort. Because the risk is higher than with most other
HR roles the level of trust required is much higher. Management consultant Ric
Reichard uses a simple formula to describe the issues which are generally at play
Often the client and the change agent over highlight one or the other
especially when the risk increases while the challenge is to balance both
to attain the essential level of trust.
Ensure that the Vision is Articulated - interpret the hopes and inspiration of
the labour force through the Vision statement.
Set a Leadership Agenda - Defining the ongoing role for leaders, such as
Interactions, role modelling, strengthening of desired behaviours etc. This
requires the HR executive to understand closely the dynamics, history and
Competencies of the leadership team and to have the insistence to insist on the agenda's
Solve Problems - Recommending solutions, a common hope of HR
professionals is not the same as solving problems. When it comes to the change agent
role, the problems encounter are often loaded with emotional and political
Dynamics. The change agent must possess the insight to recognize the problem, the
Sensitivity to see its importance to those involved, the courage to take honest and
often difficult measures to resolve it and the credibility to be heard.
Implement Plans to Achieve Change Goals - Flourishing organizational change on
any important scale can be accredited to the right plan and suitable change in
organization culture. Culture change, in turn, relies heavily on allied and helpful
people policies, systems and processes. In short, the functioning plan is an HR
plan for both the HR function and for management.
complement the competencies recognized , we would add the following as
essential for efficiency as a change agent:
ï€ superb communications skill - in all directions
ï€ knowledge of the business; products/services and core work processes
ï€ keeping a business perspective - both macro mission and micro mission
ï€ preparation and assignment management skills
ï€ ability to tolerate doubt managing conflict threat conflict
It is apparent that these are a unify of individual attribute and industrial skill sets. A
change agent working at the planned level cannot be effective without them.
Having a clearly articulated proficiency model for the change agent role is one thing;
acquiring the knowledge and skills to purpose efficiently in this role is another.
efficiency in any role is a combination of competence and confidence Following are
four elements that are necessary in developing both:
Education and Training
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Official education and training that is inclusive enough to really equip an HR
professional for the change agent role is fairly limited in this country. However, some
Universities, such as University of Toronto and Queen's University are now contribution
change management programs within their Executive Development divisions. These
range from 3 days to 15 days of professional development from time to time with a practicum
Five years ago we would have confident professional to find some "unbiased"
province for practicing their new talent. Today this is clearly unfeasible as business
demand that the talent be put to use instantly. The change agent is not excused from
this reality but the "practicing" is often more observable and the risk higher than in other
feature of the role. This is where the next two fundamentals come into play.
Feedback & Reflection
"Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement" - the
simple truth in that appearance is well-known to everyone .The most significant thing you can experience as a change agent is not accomplishment. Nor is it collapse. It is
honest feedback about your presentation and impact and the time to mirror on and learn
For executives performing as change agents, there is often no one inside the
business to talk to. The issues are often too planned or too responsive to discuss
explicitly. A support system should comprise people who know the nature of your work and
the satisfactions, pressure and risks linked with it. One of the most significant, people in
your hold up system will be the colleague whom you can calculate on to confront you, help
you see your inadequacy and follow-up on what purposely you are doing about them
Compassion to changes in key personnel, top management perception and market conditions, and to the way in which these impact the goals of the project.
2.Setting of realistic goals clearly defined.
3. Elasticity in responding to changes without the control of the project manager, perhaps require major shifts in project management style and goal.
4. Abilities of team building, to bring together key stakeholders and establish effective working groups, and to define and hand over relevant tasks clearly.
5. Patience of uncertainty, to be able to function happily, tolerantly and successfully in an unsure environment.
6. Communication skills to broadcast to colleagues and subordinate the need for changes in the project goals in individual tasks .
7. Interpersonal skills, across the range, including selection, listening, collecting suitable information, identify the concerns of others, and managing meetings.
8. Personal interest in express ideas and policy.
9. Selling policy and ideas to others by creating a attractive and demanding vision of the future.
10. Negotiate with key players for funds, for changes in procedures, and to resolution clash.
11. Political awareness in identify potential coalitions, and in evaluation contradictory goals and perceptions.
14. Influencing skills, to gain commitment to project plans and ideas form potential sceptics and resisters.
15. Helicopter perspective, to stand back from the immediate project and take a broader view of priority.
Source: D. Buchanan & D. Boddy: The Expertise of the Change Agent: Public performance and backstage activity. Prentice Hall. 1992
Reflecting upon my own attitudes values and behaviour I have identified the areas of change required to be an effective change leader. To become such I need to focus on all factors describe in task 1 .In addition to that I need to have full knowledge of the organization and the staff frame of mind working there including its market customer and relationship. There is always more than right solution so I must be able to evaluate facts from different view eg from customer and competitors point. To motivate and guide the staff to become effective change agent I need to focus on their behaviour and attitudes towards their role in organization. Should be able to find out who can be assest to company doing so and how.
Plan of action to maintain effectiveness as change agent is outlines below:
Communication: Communication with possible change agents is necessary via meeting to find out their action plan and goals for future. To find out in what ways can staff and units will be more productive and welcoming. Are they looking at different ways to handle most difficult clients for better outcomes? The solution here would be to focus not only handling these clients but to reduce stress on overall staff solving the clinical issues.
Address the work Change Agents are doing in their productivity plans.
Some change agents will take one to two weeks or less depending on interest, motivation and time. More than likely supervisors will want to adjust productivity time based on performed work. So change agent here should know exactly what is needed in order to meet the productivity requirements.
Meetings: It is important for change agent to attend monthly and quarterly meetings to have an idea on obtaining training around the made action plans and to know how to implement at work scenario.
Beside these change agent should
Educate staff on strategies, customer care, assessment etc. Participate in case discussions about re-occurring disorders. Provide updates and training to the staff. Create the implementation of Action plan/policy to improve general quality of the service.
Any changes made in the organization must be integrated with other business and management disciplines. Integration primarily occurs in one of two ways. First, introduction of the importance of change management and second making a commitment to build change competence and utilizing changes on every project as an standard practice. When change management is started at the beginning of a project, the activities can be fully integrated. The first step will be to develop a change management strategy based on the characteristics of the particular change and the attributes of the organization that is being changed. Change readiness assessments will help you decide on your strategy and how you will customize the change management plans you are going to develop. The following steps describe below will give a clear picture of how integration should be carried out.
Define objectives and project benefits with project sponsor
Set the timeline and milestones
Initial budget preparation
Team selection and team building
Define communication system within the project
Identify the main stakeholders and members of project holding committee
Make draft of the plan
Review with sponsor
Finalize the plan
Schedule first meeting with committee
Prepare presentation for committee and review it with sponsor
Gather all data collection requirements
Delegate responsibilities among team members
Conduct managers and employee interviews
Conduct customer surveys
Identify main competitors and non competitors
Prepare all research report
Again prepare presentation for committee reviewing with sponsor.
Review all detail of the findings
Define principles and concepts for the future
Create documents for system and technology requirements
Define the change required and the new roles and responsibilities
Make a draft of solution design and finalize
Prepare presentation for meeting with key committee and sponsor
Conduct gap analysis between as-is and to-be phase
Determine cost savings and revenue growth from new solution
Also estimate for system and technology
Implementation cost for project should be clearly estimated
Outline business case for new design and compare with initial objective and ensure the alignment
With accounting group review the financial calculation.
Involve the committee and sponsor in the final review of project
Buy the required system and technology
Conduct the trial
Detail job description is needed and review with HR and legal department
Training requirements should be defined and curriculum should be develop.
Develop control process
Train new employees on new process and tools/systems
Collect employee and manager feedback
Modify the solution according to feedback
If any issues arises during implementation process track and resolve.
Ensure the alignment with business strategy
Measure the performance outcome and compare
Change management can be applied to many types of business improvement programs - from radical changes like BPR, mergers and acquisitions or new product releases to incremental changes like continuous improvement processes or Six Sigma. Change management is the process and tools - such as communications, sponsorship, coaching, and training and resistance management plan - for addressing the people side of change. Change management is not an event - it is a process of helping individuals understand, internalize and support a change.