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In todays fast growing and highly competitive environment everyone wants to stay ahead and always remain connected to the whole world. Last two decades have seen many inventions that are really path breaking and changed our lifestyles in more than one or the other way. This is possible only because of the changes and innovation in the organization.
Companies across a range of industries are confronting fundamental change. The advent of 3G technology poses life-and-death challenges for operators of mobile phone networks. The development of digital photography does the same for makers of cameras and roll film. The Internet continues to ask testing questions of retailers and financial services firms, while low-cost airlines threaten the survival of established carriers.
Change today is prevalent in every sector in the world. Today change is happening at a ever faster rate majorly because of the increase in globalization and technological changes that are taking place. Today, all the organization are trying to work on the changing pace of technology, technological changes has not only affected the organizations but also the lives of individuals as they have a global reach, the medium of information that is available today has increased considerable. The firms today are downsizing themselves and societies and institutions are becoming decentralized.
Change management has become one of the major components which helps in managing the working, strategy, organization, people and culture of the organization. Change is important so as to keep an organization more competitive to face the changing demographics and technological trends and increasing globalization. Change management is an ongoing process so as to keep the organizationï¿½s structures, processes and strategies up to date.
Managers are faced with a paradox. They are told to change their organizations or risk them perishing; at the same time, they are told that their organizations are at risk of perishing because of the disruptive impact of change.
In competitive economies, firm survival depends on satisfying shareholders. Failure to do this will lead them either to move their capital to other companies or to use their influence to replace senior management with those better aligned with their interests. Therefore, managers conduct change in order to produce better organizational performance in the form of better quarterly results with correspondingly better company share prices.
Organizations and human systems of all sorts are complex and evolving and therefore cannot be reduced to a single, linear objective of maximizing shareholder value. In this view, a better way of understanding the objectives of change management is the need to increase an organizationï¿½s adaptive capacity, since how an organization might achieve shareholder value, and the knowledge needed for achieving this, are likely to change over time. Therefore, building in the capacity to both respond to, and shape, external changes is an alternative rationale for explaining why managers conduct change.
Regardless of which position may be most appropriate to explaining why a specific organization change occurs, there are clearly a variety of pressures on managers to change. They come from many directions: the environment, the discovery of deviations from standards, new desires and visions of the future, or the fundamental nature of organizations themselves. The result of change is often supposed to be, paradoxically, stability. Managers are called upon to stabilize the unstable and destabilize the rigid; adapt to the present and anticipate the future; improve what is and invent what is to be; lead a renaissance while preserving tradition, the possibilities for which are grounded in the belief that progress is possible and that managers can make a difference.
Issues for change:
Environmental Pressures for Change
Environmental pressures are one focus for explaining change. These often occur where an organizationï¿½s resource base decreases as a result of reduced demand for products and sales, decrease in market share, and bad investment decisions. In extreme circumstances, organizational change is designed to turn around negative cash flow and avoid bankruptcy and ï¿½organizational death.ï¿½
There are several environmental pressures that may have affected the company which includes fashion pressures, mandated pressures, geopolitical pressures, decline in demand or market decline pressures, competition pressure, reputation and creditability pressures,
So as to cope up with the environmental change and pressure, it is important for the company to strongly focus on adaptability, cost containment, control over resources of the organization, and being responsive to the changing environment.
As the organization is planning for complete closure for 12 months, so the whole organization is likely to be affected by this change. Changes that affect the entire firm, including strategy, are labeled strategic changes. These strategic changes often entail smashing out of set congruence patterns and establishing a completely new configuration. Incremental changes maintain the current context of the current mix of organizational strategies and elements. They do not seek to address fundamental shifts in the focus of the business, changes of structure, culture change, or similar issues. Strategic change, however, does break that frame, although sometimes only bending it, but always creating something fundamentally new through system-wide changes.
The organization will focus on:
1. Recreation. This type of strategic change is brought about by external changes, often very serious ones that threaten the well being of the firm. As such, these external changes usually necessitate a drastic departure from past ways of doing things, including replacing top management, culture change, vision and values, and other major reactive changes. These are known as ï¿½framebreakingï¿½ changes.
Organizations need to view strategic change as projects to help ensure that these initiatives are provided the appropriate time and attention. The organization needs to focus on engineering and system development.
In many change situations, the initial diagnosis is enhanced by getting the perspective of various staff of the organization as to the current (as-is) situation. However, even where people are not intentionally ï¿½holding back,ï¿½ they will often find it difficult to encapsulate, in words, their sense of the current situation.
Managers as Change Resistors
Most discussions of resistance to change present managers as the advocates of change with lower-level employees cast in the role of resistors. However, it is important not to assume that the only ones who may not respond positively to proposals for change are ï¿½the managedï¿½ and not the managers. This requires a shift in the way in which we normally think of change; that is, as something that managers have to manage in the face of varying degrees of resistance from non management employees. While the latter certainly occurs in many instances, it is important to recognize that the managers in an organization are not necessarily always passionate advocates of change. One reason why it makes sense to recognize that managers may resist change is that while it sometimes makes sense to refer to managers collectivelyï¿½that is, as one groupï¿½on other occasions it is the differences within the ranks of management that are of more significance. Change represents a situation where differences are often to the fore; for example, where a particular change initiative is proposed by some managers in a company (perhaps those within a particular department) but opposed by others (those in a different department). Similarly, a change being pushed by top management may receive a rather ï¿½lukewarmï¿½ response among middle management. The stance of middle managers can have a critical effect on the outcome of a change initiative because they often have a central role in the implementation process. It is not unusual for this role to involve some ï¿½interestingï¿½ tensions for middle managers as they can be both ï¿½implementersï¿½ of a change (as managers) and ï¿½recipientsï¿½/ ï¿½targetsï¿½ of the change (as employees)
One approach to the management of change presents the reactions of people to change as involving a progression through a series of psychological stages. Rather than treating resistance to change as something that must be overcome, Maurer argues for an approach that uses the power of resistance to build support for change.ï¿½ This approach is based on the view that showing respect toward resistors builds stronger relationships and thereby improves the prospects of success of the change.
Empowering Employees to Help Lead Change
Empowerment is the key to unlock the energy and talents that reside within an organization and make it competitive. Leadership must be involved in a continuous challenge to give up control over the work and unlock the potential capabilities of employees by promoting empowering initiatives. This process gives employees the power to control their own destiny and should release creative energy and initiative at every level.
In an empowered environment, jobs must have two main components. The first is the core activities, which are what the employee must achieve as the basic purpose of the job. The second component is an area of flexibility based on the employeeï¿½s competency and interests. Job overlap, rather than being avoided, becomes an opportunity for sharing information and innovation. To help establish this empowered environment, a major emphasis should be placed on a new performance appraisal system to reward employees and training programs help employees to develop their full potential. These actions should be enhanced by truly open communication to welcome and involve everyone in the implementation of changes and in the learning and adapting process. An important component of empowerment is using inspiration, charisma, and inherent excitement of the vision to enroll and motivate employees, an attribute of transformational leadership.
The coordination or teamwork required to support a strategic change initiative means that members from across the organization must work together to integrate their functional area knowledge into a comprehensive plan. Based on the scope of the strategic initiative, they must first identify the activities required to meet strategic goals and objectives. Secondly, they must develop a plan that addresses required resources, performance requirements, and an appropriate schedule of activities. Finally, they must direct, monitor, and control these activities as the project is implemented. A coordinated effort is an absolute necessity for a change initiative since many adjustments to the plan will likely be made as the change evolves.
With changes to vision, mission statement, and strategic objectives, which result from an iterative process of review of the external and internal environments human and other resources that are not a part of the existing structure will be identified. Therefore, the addition of these resources and their associated competencies must be added to the organization. Please note that these human and other resources are included in the comprehensive plan that is developed through the coordination factor. It should also be noted that decisions would need to be made on existing resources that are no longer required.
Individual and team commitment to the strategic change initiative is another factor that the change agent leader must focus on to be successful. In most cases this can be accomplished by utilizing individuals and teams to help evaluate and determine the best direction for the organization to proceed. By being a part of those that determined the future direction of the organization, they will have a better understanding of the ï¿½who, what, why, when, and howï¿½ questions associated with the strategic change initiative. This will enable them to make important decisions and adjustments as the plan is implemented.
The clear, concise, and consistent communication of the new vision and what it means to the organization is another important factor that the change agent leader must address. During the identification, development, and implementation of the strategic change initiative, the change agent must help ensure that the reason for change, the new direction, and how the change will affect individuals and groups within the organization are communicated in a trusting and honest manner. It is also important to note that these communications may not answer all of the stakeholder questions. However, as the strategic change initiative evolves, ongoing communications should provide sufficient information on the state of affairs.
Leading change through application of the four ï¿½Csï¿½ (coordination, competencies, commitment, and communication) will enable you to extend a network, focused on the change initiative, to others within your organization. Your ability to focus on these factors and utilize this network to plan, implement, and operate the strategic change initiative will determine your success.
Using Emotional Intelligence to Build Good Working Relationships
Globalization, deregulation, virtual teams, telecommuting, outsourcing, insourcing, e-commerce ï¿½ employees throughout the business world have either adapted or been forced to adapt to new ways of doing things, i.e., organizational change! In situations of organizational change, where consultation and participation are advocated, soft skills are important for leadership effectiveness. Emotional intelligence (EI) has been identified as one way to improve an individualï¿½s soft skills and leadership effectiveness.
ï¿½Emotional intelligenceï¿½ refers to the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships. Therefore, EI focuses on managing our relationships with ourself and with others. EI is predicated on the notion that individuals should relinquish short-term benefits for long-term gains, strive for positive personal emotions and interpersonal relationships, and display individual considerations to others. In times of change, leaders with high EI may generate an atmosphere of cooperation and trust by aligning themselves with the goals of the organization and considering the long-term needs of the organization and its members over personal needs. These actions would conceivably promote quality interpersonal relationships with employees and contribute to a leaderï¿½s ability to influence emotions and attitudes toward change. When leaders are able to influence their employeesï¿½ emotions, they may induce employees to reevaluate negative feelings or resistance to change. For example, if an employee feels concerned or anxious about impending change, an emotionally intelligent leader may be able to recognize these emotions, persuade the employee that the response is unwarranted and propose an alternative view of the change process.
It is important to sustain change by focusing on all the actions that are being decided by the organization, closing the factory for 12 months will increase the rebel of the employees, so we have to focus on empowering the employees and convince them that the closure of the company will benefit them in the near future and will help in development and bright prospects of the organization. The organization has to focus on creating the right fit between an organizationï¿½s core competencies and what the market needs can be disastrous if the environment changes and the firm does not respond accordingly and build adaptive change in the organization.